ATMIS troop withdrawal progressing

477

Ahead of this month-end (June) reduction of two thousand troops serving under the ATMIS (African Union Transition Mission in Somalia) a second forward operating (FOB) was handed to the Somali National Army (SNA).

Mirtiquo FOB in Hirshabelle State has been in the area of responsibility (AoR) of ATMIS Burundi National Defence Forces (BNDF) component since 2016. The handover follows that of Xaaji Cali, also in Hirshabelle State.

Handing over agreed FOBs is in compliance with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions) for ATMIS to gradually hand security responsibilities to the Somali federal government.

ATMIS BNDF Mirtiquo FOB Commander, Major Leonce Segetera, officially handed the facility to, Lt. Hassan Ahmed Hassan, SNA Commander in the area at a ceremony witnessed by the ATMIS Logistics Staff Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Collins Musau and senior ATMIS and SNA officials.

“We are confident SNA will be able to carry out security responsibilities in this area,” Musau said.

The SNA Mirtiquo commander, Lieutenant Hassan Ahmed Hassan, expressed readiness to provide security in the area.

Speaking at UN headquarters in New York, Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef, AU Commission Chair Special Representative and ATMIS Head, told the Security Council: “Stability ushered in last May delivered dividends and, in many instances, exceeded expectations. Progress thus far is testament to the resilience and determination of the Somali people”.

“Since my briefing in February, Somalia continued to focus on building consensus on critical issues that will hopefully lead to a transformative change in the country. I am pleased to note the vehicle for advancing change remains the National Consultative Council (NCC). In December 2022, the NCC agreed on a federal judicial model, a strategic milestone toward establishment of an independent federal judicial system in Somalia. In March 2023, we saw a landmark agreement on the National Security Architecture, while in May, the NCC agreed on returning Somalia to one-person, one-vote elections.”