ATMIS committed to “seamless” security transfer in Somalia

165

With nine months before the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) exits the Horn of Africa country, mission management is committed to “a seamless transfer of security responsibilities”.

“ATMIS is fully committed to the transition process, which will culminate in the transfer of full security responsibilities to the Somali Security Forces (SSF) by the end of December 2024,” AU Special Representative for Somalia Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef, told a joint press conference with Somalia’s Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Daud Aweis, at Villa Somalia on Wednesday (13 March).

Souef, an ATMIS statement has it, emphasised the progressive transfer of security responsibilities to the SSF must be accompanied by adequate support in critical areas to consolidate the hard-won gains made in securing Somalia.

“It is imperative that all partners align their efforts and support Somalia to ensure smooth co-ordination and a successful transition that promotes its long term stability and development,” he said during the briefing.

As part of the transition process, ATMIS withdrew 5 000 troops from Somalia and handed over 13 military bases to the SSF during the first and second phases of the drawdown last year.

The third phase, targeting 4 000 troops, is scheduled to be completed by end June this year.

“As part of the planning process, open and constructive discussions have begun with the Federal Government of Somalia taking into consideration lessons learned from previous phases,” Souef said.

Aweis assured Mogadishu residents of their safety and security during the Holy Month of Ramadhan.

“This year- again – security forces are determined to ensure maximum security in the city and prevent any attempts by the Al-Shabaab terrorist group to disrupt the peace and safety of the people,” he said.

He also disclosed the Somali government is concluding a review of the country’s constitution to guarantee equal representation and good governance.