UN Secretary-General António Guterres “strongly condemned” the Al Shabaab terror group’s attack on an African Union (AU) mission base in Somalia on Tuesday, which killed dozens of Burundian military personnel.
“The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the families of those killed and to the government and people of Burundi. He wishes the injured a speedy recovery. He pays tribute to all ATMIS troops and expresses his deep appreciation for their service and commitment to peace and security in Somalia,” Guterres said.
It also issued a statement reiterating its appeal to the international community to provide “any necessary assistance” to ATMIS and the Somali security forces in their fight against the Al-Shabaab terrorist group.
The attack has been condemned in recent hours by the government of Somalia, the European Union and the AU, who have called on the international community to “step up” its support for the Somali security forces and ATMIS in the fight against terrorism.
Somali military sources said Tuesday the attack had resulted in the deaths of dozens of Burundian soldiers, while the Al Shabaab terror group, which has ties to al-Qaeda, put the death toll at around 60 in its claim of authorship.
The attack on the base in El Baraf would be Al Shabaab’s deadliest in Somalia since 2017, when nearly 70 Kenyan soldiers were killed in an attack in Kulbiyow. Just a year earlier, an attack by Al Shabaab in the Gedo region had claimed the lives of almost 200 soldiers.
ATMIS received the support of the United Nations Security Council a month ago and emerges from the reconfiguration of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which is focusing its efforts on the fight against Al Shabaab.