The SRCC and the commander of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef, say ATMIS is dedicated to ensuring a smooth transition that doesn’t jeopardise the country’s citizens’ security or the strenuous security gains made.
According to him, ATMIS is committed to ensuring Somalia’s security and is anticipating the next stage of a Somali-led attack that would further weaken Al-Shabaab, support stabilisation, and free more villages.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday at the mission headquarters, Ambassador Souef said the mission’s commitment to peacebuilding, stabilisation, and reconciliation operations was unaffected by the successful end of the first phase of a phased pullout.
“ATMIS has successfully implemented a 2,000-troop drawdown.” “The goal of the drawdown was to facilitate the gradual transfer of security responsibilities to the Somali Security Forces,” said Ambassador Souef during a news briefing in Mogadishu.
ATMIS, in collaboration with the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), successfully completed the withdrawal of 2,000 soldiers last week, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions 2628 and 2670 (2022). Six Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) have been handed over to Somali Security Forces (SSF), including Xaaji Cali, Miirtuquo, Cadale, Albao, Gherille, and Aljazeera 1, while one FOB, Marka Ayub, has been closed.
“I congratulate all ATMIS Troops Contributing Countries (TCCs), the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), and the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) on the successful completion of the first phase of the ATMIS drawdown from Somalia,” said the SRCC.
“As part of its efforts to support Somali Security Forces and ensure the continuity and sustainability of the FOBs handed over, UNSOS provided some equipment stationed at the FOBs.” “We believe that the donated equipment will serve its purpose,” the SRCC stated.
Ambassador Souef thanked Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for his “visionary leadership” in uniting the country and taking the lead in the battle against Al Shabaab extremists.