Three soldiers from the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces and an officer from the Bahrain Defense Force were killed in a terrorist attack at a military base in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The attack took place at the General Gordon military base on Saturday night, where UAE personnel had been training soldiers from the Somali Armed Forces as part of an agreement between the UAE and Somalia. The UAE’s defense ministry confirmed the deaths of their soldiers and emphasized their commitment to cooperating with the Somali government in investigating what they called a terrorist attack.
An army officer revealed that the gunman responsible for the attack was a newly trained Somali soldier who opened fire on UAE trainers and Somali military officials when they started praying. The al Qaeda-linked terror group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, and it was reported that the assailant had defected from al-Shabaab before being recruited as a soldier by Somalia and UAE. The UAE vowed to fight terrorism and cooperate with the Somali government to bring peace and stability back to the region. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud condemned the attack and ordered a thorough and urgent investigation by Somalia’s security agencies.
This tragic incident underscores the complexities of training and cooperating with foreign military forces in regions plagued by terrorism and internal conflicts. It also serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing threat posed by terrorist organizations in Somalia, such as al-Shabaab, despite efforts from both local and international powers to combat their influence and violence. The attack has prompted calls for a reassessment of security measures and the vetting process for new recruits within the Somali military, as well as reinvigorated efforts to strengthen the partnership between the UAE, Somalia, and other regional stakeholders to combat extremist threats.