A spokesman for the African Union
Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said Thursday's Islamist insurgents
attack will not deter the peacekeepers from carrying out their duties.
Suicide bombers attacked the main base of the
AU Peacekeeping mission, killing at least nine peacekeepers, including the
Spokesman Major Barigye Ba-hoku said AMISOM was Thursday night still trying to assess the extent of
are yet to know what went wrong. But what actually happened is that one of our
bases came under attack, and as a result of this attack, human and material
losses were incurred. But these losses are yet to be quantified," he said.
said Thursday's attack is unlikely to deter the peacekeepers from carrying out
will happen is that first of all we will first ensure and try as much as
possible to guarantee the security of the troops. I think the other aspects of
whether we are going to go on the offensive, I think those are aspects of the
rules of engagement than aspects of the mandate itself," Bahoku said.
denied the constant insurgents attacks against AMISOM forces was the result of
the lack of sufficient troops.
me put this clear! What has happened today is not different from any other
previous attacks. So we would have handled this situation the same way we have
handled all the previous ones," he said.
described Thursday's attack as perhaps one of AMISOM's low moments in the
struggle for control of Somalia. But he said AMISOM does not intend to change
every war situation, you always get the highs and the lows of the situation,
and possibly this has been our low. But the least this was our low tie, it will
not deter in any way the activities of AMISON," Bahoku said.
The Islamist militant
group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack. The group said it
was in retaliation for Monday's U.S. helicopter raid that killed an
al-Qaida-linked terrorist suspect
would not say whether Thursday's attack was the work of an al-Qaida element.
has been in this country for the last over two and the half years. We have been
subjected to attacks all these two years, and as far as we are concerned,
that's the same old trend. The same old story of dealing with belligerents, of
dealing with forces that prefer violence, of dealing with forces that are not
willing to dialogue," Bahoku said.
said changing AMISOM's mandate alone would not be a panacea for the Somali
would be expecting very much of the troops on the ground without a different
mandate. I also know that the mandate itself cannot be a panacea. There is no
single solution that you can prescribe this conflict here," he said.
said AMISOM believes the Somalia conflict can only be solved by Somalis