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Somalia and African Union agree on drawdown of ATMIS troops

In a summit held on April 27th, 2023, the Heads of State and Governments of Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and the Federal Republic of Somalia agreed on the drawdown of troops in Somalia. The summit attended by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as well as heads of state and senior officials from Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia was held at the invitation of Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Representatives from the African Union and the United Nations also made an appearance.

The meeting was convened to evaluate the achievements made in the implementation of ATMIS’ mandate and the overall security situation in Somalia. The major component of the ATMIS mandate is to implement the Somali Transition Plan (STP), detailing the handover of security responsibilities from the ATMIS to the Federal Government by December 2024.

ATMIS was commended for the successful implementation of its mandate, including supporting smooth political transitions, saving lives, and supporting stabilization efforts in Somalia. Likewise, Troop Contributing Countries were commended and appreciated for their immense sacrifice in the fight against terrorism.

Additionally, the Heads of State underscored the importance of respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence, and unity of Somalia, while also reaffirming their commitment to assist the government in its stabilization efforts. They also welcomed the initiative by the Federal Government to take full ownership and leadership of Somalia’s Stabilization Strategy.

While the heads of State recognized and lauded the efforts of the Somali Security Forces in the fight against Al-Shabab, they also noted the need for increased logistical support to the country’s security apparatus. They proposed the provision of force multipliers and enablers, especially aviation support to the security forces.

Further, the Heads of State and Government agreed on the procedures for the drawdown of 2,000 ATMIS Troops in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2670 (2022). That is to say, the timeline for the troop’s withdrawal stands, with 2,000 servicemen expected to exit the country by the end of June 2023.

Ultimately, the deliberations and outcomes of the summit highlight Somalia’s growth in the journey toward peace, stability, and security.

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