17 peacekeepers killed in Suicide attack in Somalia

This is a truly terrible development.  Suicide bombers used white cars with UN markings to gain entry to an AMISOM base in Mogadishu.  Dozens of people, including 17 African Union peacekeepers and the deputy force commander were killed in the attack.  AMISOM is a force of about 5,000 troops from mostly Burundi and Uganda, which is the only international force trying to bring a semblance of stability to Somalia. 

Here is Ban Ki Moon’s statement:

I am shocked and outraged by the reported suicide attack against AMISOM Force Headquarters in Mogadishu today. The attack has reportedly killed or wounded a number of AMISOM troops including at the command level.

AMISOM is in Mogadishu to help end the conflict that has ravaged the country for the last 20 years, and for a better future in which all Somalis can live in peace and security.

We – the United Nations – remain committed to continuing to work with the Transitional Federal Government and the Somali people to facilitate reconciliation and the political process, build Somali security and rule of law institutions and provide humanitarian assistance. The United Nations stands by the African Union and AMISOM and will continue to support AMISOM’s deployment and operations. UN resources from neighboring peace operations are on standby to assist the African Union to respond to the incident today as required.

I condemn in strongest possible terms this entirely unacceptable attack on those who are there to help foster peace and I call upon all Somalis to renounce violence and to work with the Transitional Federal Government towards national reconciliation.

I express my sincere condolences to the families, the contingents and Governments of those who lost their lives and my sympathy for those who have been wounded.