Somalia Requests ATMIS Withdrawal to Slow Down

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Background: The African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS)

The African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) has played a pivotal role in maintaining stability and combating extremist groups within Somalia. Deployed in 2007 as AMISOM, ATMIS’s primary mission was to support the Somali government in its fight against al-Shabab which is an Islamist militant group responsible for numerous attacks and violence in the region. Recently, there have been talks of ATMIS withdrawal.


The ATMIS Withdrawal Plan and Apprehensions

Recent developments indicate that ATMIS peacekeepers are gradually withdrawing from Somalia. This withdrawal is part of a broader transition plan aimed at transferring security responsibilities to Somali forces. However, several concerns have arisen:

  1. Security Vacuum: With ATMIS troops departing, there is a legitimate fear of a security vacuum. Al-Shabab, known for its resilience and ability to exploit such gaps, could capitalize on the situation. The group has already carried out attacks in areas previously under AMISOM control.
  2. Somali National Army’s Preparedness: While the Somali National Army (SNA) is expected to take over security operations, questions linger about its capacity. The SNA has faced challenges related to training, equipment, and coordination. A premature withdrawal could strain their capabilities.
  3. Regional and International Implications: Neighboring countries, including Kenya and Ethiopia, express concern about potential spillover effects. Instability in Somalia could impact the entire Horn of Africa region. International partners emphasize the need for a gradual and well-coordinated transition.

ATMIS’s Legacy and Challenges

ATMIS’s contributions have been significant. They helped recapture major cities from al-Shabab, facilitated humanitarian aid, and supported governance and reconstruction efforts. However, the mission has also faced criticism, including allegations of human rights abuses and corruption.

The Way Forward Concerning ATMIS Withdrawal

As Somalia stands at this critical juncture, careful navigation is essential. A hasty withdrawal risks undoing hard-won gains, while a gradual transition ensures stability and prevents al-Shabab’s resurgence.

Read more about the ATMIS withdrawal: Exclusive: Somalia asks peacekeepers to slow AMISOM withdrawal, fears Islamist resurgence | Reuters

Somalia Requests Slower AMISOM Withdrawal Amid Al-Shabaab, Houthi Collaboration (

AU mission completes second phase of troop departure from Somalia. – Somali Magazine