African Union Reveals Plans to Reduce ATMIS Troop Numbers in Somalia: 3,000 Soldiers to Depart in the Coming Month

African Union Reveals Plans To Reduce Atmis Troop Numbers In Somalia: 3,000 Soldiers To Depart In The Coming Month

Tuesday August 29, 2023

In discussions between representatives of the African Union, Somalia, and the United Nations, plans for the next phase of troop withdrawal for the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) in September are actively being discussed. The goal is for ATMIS to reduce its forces by 3,000 soldiers, adding to the previous successful reassignment of 2,000 troops and the handover of six military bases to the Somali government in June.

Mohammed El-Amine Souef, the Special Representative of the African Union Commission in Somalia and the head of ATMIS, highlighted the meticulous planning taking place. Souef stated, “While we continue our combat operations, we are strategically withdrawing in a manner that safeguards our accomplishments,” in a statement from Mogadishu.

Souef commended the enduring partnership between the United Nations and Somali officials, as it played a crucial role in the success of the first phase.

Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, the Head of UNSOS, emphasized the importance of conducting thorough assessments of the equipment and logistical support transferred to Somali forces. Kacyira noted, “The UN’s responsibility is to ensure that the equipment is in excellent condition and that Somali forces are properly equipped for its utilization.”

In accordance with the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 2687 (2023), a technical review conducted by the African Union and Somalia is scheduled to conclude by the end of August. This review will evaluate the progress made during the initial withdrawal, with comprehensive findings expected by September 15. Following Resolutions 2628 and 2670, ATMIS will undergo a phased reduction of troops, ultimately leading to a complete withdrawal from Somalia by the end of 2024.

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