The EU on Wednesday slammed a deadly al-Shabaab extremist attack on Burundi peacekeepers in Somalia and expressed support for the Africa Union (AU) mission in the country.
The European Union “strongly condemns the attack” carried out Tuesday on an AU base in central Somalia and voiced its condolences with the families of those targeted, according to a statement by the bloc’s foreign policy service.
Ten Burundian soldiers were killed and another 25 wounded in the attack, with another five missing, Burundi’s army said.
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The EU said several Somali citizens were also killed or wounded.
The EU in its statement expressed “its deep appreciation to ATMIS’s (the AU Transition Mission in Somalia) troop and police contributing countries for their continued support in the fight against terror.”
ATMIS is made up of troops from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. It is tasked with helping stabilize the security situation in Somalia, a troubled Horn of Africa country that is also grappling with political crisis and a prolonged drought threatening famine.
The total ATMIS force numbers 20,000, counting soldiers, police and civilians, although that is scheduled to be reduced to zero by the end of 2024.