A new concept of operations (CONOPS) necessarily means a change in logistic support and the recent status and name change of the African Union (AU) peace support mission in Somalia has brought that about in conjunction with the United Nations (UN) support office in the east African country.
Known as ATMIS (AU Transition Mission in Somalia) since April, mission personnel and their UN support counterparts, met to align logistic support in line with the new CONOPS.
Discussions centred on tactical and logistical issues which are key to successful implementation of the ATMIS mandate.
“We are working to strict timelines set out in UN Security Council Resolution 2628. ATMIS is tasked to draw down two thousand troops by the end of December this and exit completely by December 2024, less than 30 months away,” said Fiona Lortan, ATMIS Deputy Head.
Several strategic meetings would be held to review the mission’s strategic plans. To that end, ATMIS Deputy Head of Mission said AU headquarters would provide political and strategic guidance on issues raised by the UN Security Council Resolution.
To maintain a military advantage over Al-Shabaab, ATMIS Force Commander Lieutenant General Diomede Ndegeya said the mission requires efficient acquisition, supply and delivery of critical material during combat operations.
“It is crucial to develop an appropriate logistic support plan addressing troop and mission needs as outlined in the new CONOPS, which requires our troops to be agile, mobile, flexible, adaptable and responsive,” he said.
The Head of UNSOS (UN Support Office in Somalia), Assistant Secretary General Lisa Filipetto, said plans are underway to decentralise logistics to ATMIS sectors to facilitate quick response and better support mobile operations.
“In planning ATMIS logistics support, we cannot lose sight of the need for support to the Somali Security Forces as well. It is important for them to have capacity to gradually assume full responsibility for their own security,” Filipetto said.
UNSOS provides logistic support to ATMIS forces to sustain operations to secure and hold key population centres, open up main supply routes (MSR) and protect civilians. In line with the national security architecture, UNSOS also provides logistic support capabilities to the Somali Security Forces for joint operations with ATMIS.
Among other tasks, the UN Security Council resolution mandates ATMIS to support capacity development of the Somali Security Forces with priority given to force generation, operational competencies and logistic support capabilities to facilitate progressive takeover of security responsibilities in Somalia.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the UN, senior officials from ATMIS’ civilian, military and police components as well as senior officers from the Somali Security Forces and international partners.