MOGADISHU, June 22 (Xinhua) — African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) on Thursday condemned an attack by al-Shabaab militants targeting Somali National Army (SNA) and ATMIS Ethiopian military base in Bardhere, southern Somalia, on Wednesday.
ATMIS said two explosive-laden vehicles detonated at the military base targeting the ongoing recruitment of SNA troops to help maintain peace and security in Jubaland State as ATMIS troops begin to withdraw from Somalia.
Mohammed El-Amine Souef, special representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia and head of ATMIS, said the recruitment is an effort to build the capacity of SNA to conduct offensives against the terrorists and create secure conditions for governance and development to take root.
“However, al-Shabaab who are agents of destruction do not want to see Somalia prosper. We all need to coalesce and defeat these terrorists,” Souef said in a statement issued in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
He pledged that the AU mission is committed to supporting the government and the federal member states to build the capacity of the Somali security forces to secure the country.
The AU envoy said the recruits once trained will form part of SNA to combat al-Shabaab terrorists and take over from ATMIS as the mission transfers security responsibilities ahead of its exit next year. ■