More troops to exit ATMIS

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Tight deadlines mean assessment of the ATMIS (African Union Transition Mission in Somalia) first troop drawdown phase is running concurrently with planning for the second to bring mission strength down to 14 600.

As per the current ATMIS mandate, a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution, requests the African Union (AU) and Somali government in consultation with the world body and international partners to conduct a joint technical assessment by 31 August 2023 to evaluate the  2 000 troop phase one drawdown. It further asks for lessons identified, as well as implications of the revised national security architecture and force generation, to inform planning for the remaining drawdown phases.

The next drawdown will see three thousand troops exit the mission by 30 September.

Acting Head of the AU Peace Support Operations Division Zinurine Alghali, urged all stakeholders to ensure the hard won gains made are not lost.

“We commend the efforts of ATMIS in implementing the mandate. The AU is committed to ensuring the Federal Government of Somalia takes take over full responsibility for the country’s security to ensure stability, development and prosperity for the people of Somalia.”

“The first phase of the drawdown in June was successful and provided good lessons based on which we will provide better support to the second phase,” said Dr Aisa Kacyira of the UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS).

The AU technical team will submit its report to the UNSC by mid-September.

While evaluation and planning for and of drawdowns continue, ATMIS work continues. This saw ATMIS, Ambassador Mohammed El-Amine Souef, and Force Commander, Lieutenant General Sam Okiding, meeting Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, to update him regarding ongoing FGS-led offensives against Al Shabaab said.