SOMALIA: Three dead in ATMIS helicopter crash

Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – On Saturday, a helicopter belonging to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) crashed during a joint training mission for casualty evacuation drills.

The incident occurred at the Baledogle airstrip in the Lower Shabelle region and resulted in the death of three individuals. Eight others sustained injuries and were evacuated to Mogadishu for urgent medical attention.

In an official statement, the mission reported that the helicopter was on a joint familiarization training mission for Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC) drills with officers from the Somali National Army.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, and the AU mission has promised to keep the public informed of any new developments.

The Baledogle airstrip is also used by US military forces. According to the mission statement, the injured individuals were taken to Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, for treatment.

The Head of ATMIS, Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef, commiserated with the families of the deceased and pledged the mission’s support to the injured individuals.

ATMIS in Somalia

African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), previously known as AMISOM, is a peacekeeping mission authorized by the African Union and the United Nations.

Its objective is to support the Federal Government of Somalia in its effort to establish a secure and stable environment for the people of Somalia.

AMISOM was established in 2007, and since then, it has played a critical role in helping to stabilize the security situation in Somalia. 

Its mandate includes protecting key political installations, providing security for the delivery of humanitarian aid, and training and mentoring the Somali National Army.

The mission comprises troops from several African countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, and Ethiopia.

The troops closely coordinate with Somali security forces to promote stability and security across the country.

DANAB forces

The Danab Forces are a specialized unit within the Somali National Army (SNA), primarily focused on counterterrorism operations in Somalia.

The unit was created in 2013, with the support of the United States government, in response to the growing threat of Al-Shabab, a terrorist group active in Somalia, for over a decade.

“Danab” means “lightning” in Somali, reflecting the unit’s quick response capability and agility. The Danab Forces are known for their specialized training in tactics, including close-quarters combat, marksmanship, and intelligence gathering.

They have received extensive training and support from the United States military, including assistance from the U.S. Special Forces.

Since their formation, the Danab Forces have been deployed in several operations against Al-Shabab, including in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia, where the group has a strong presence.