Somalia, AU condemn deadly attack on military base

Somalia Special Forces
Somalia Special Forces

The African Union and Somali government have condemned bomb attack on the military base manned by Burundi troops in central Somalia town of El Baraf early Tuesday.

In separate statements released on Tuesday evening, the Somalia government said it will accelerate its joint fight against terrorism, adding that lasting peace and stability shall prevail in the country.

“Somalia remains committed to fighting terrorism and stands in solidarity with ATMIS against the terrorist attack aimed at undermining Somalia’s peace, stability, and sovereignty and reaffirms its stance against terrorism in all its forms,” the ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation said.

It said the foiled attack on the African Union Transition Mission (ATMIS) base in El Baraf, a small town 150 kilometers north of Mogadishu, which left an unknown number of soldiers and militants dead, does not augur well for stabilization efforts in Somalia.

“We strongly repeat our appeal to the international community to increase and provide higher-end capability support to the Somali security forces and ATMIS in effectively combating terrorism in Somalia,” the ministry said.

The pre-dawn raid on the camp sparked a fierce gun battle between Burundian troops and al-Shabab militants.

The Burundian army has acknowledged that al Shabaab terrorists have killed 10 Burundian peacekeepers and lost on their side 20 in an attack that happened early on Tuesday against a post of Burundian soldiers at Ceel Baraf, Shabelle region in Somalia, the Burundian army spokesman said Wednesday in a press release.

Locals said two loud explosions were heard from the military camp which is manned by the Burundi troops amid heavy gunfight between AU forces and al-Shabab fighters.

On his part, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson paid tribute to the Burundian peacekeepers who lost their lives helping to bring peace and stability to Somalia.

He reiterated that the heinous attack will not lessen the determination of ATMIS forces and reaffirmed the continued and unwavering commitment of the AU to support the Somali government and people in their pursuit to achieve sustainable peace and security.

Mahamat called on the international community to increase support to the Somali security services and the ATMIS mission commensurate with the security challenges at hand. Enditem

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