C/O Futures Terrorism Research Note Series
Lisa J. Campbell
2 June 2022
On 3 May 2022, Al Shabaab jihadists conducted an early morning ambush-style attack on an African Union (AU) base in Somalia, comprised of mostly Burundi Army peacekeeping forces. The attackers used at least one car bomb at the onset to gain access, followed by as many as 400- 450 armed attackers entering the base and engaging with Burundian forces. The use of car or truck bombs at main gates (including military bases, AU bases and hotels) to gain access for storming by armed militants is a common tactic of Al Shabaab. The timing of the attack coincides with the establishment of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) which replaced the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on 1 April 2022, with the purpose of phasing out the mission altogether by 2024. The attack also occurred just days before Somalia’s presidential election, which had undergone numerous delays and disruptions for at least a year but at the time of attack was successfully scheduled for 15 May 2022.