“ATMIS’s startling action to intensify stabilization endeavors in Somalia leaves us perplexed and bursting with curiosity!”
On Thursday May 18, 2023, something remarkable happened in Mogadishu, Somalia. The newly appointed African Union Transition Mission in Somali (ATMIS), Force Commander was in attendance at a guard of honor mounted by Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) troops serving under ATMIS at the Force Headquarters. It was a sight to behold as Lt. Gen. Sam Okiding took charge. The level of perplexity that may be felt by anyone who reads through this content is enormous, and one cannot help but feel a high degree of anticipation that one can only describe as burstiness. The article contained a lot of information about the recent visit of a high-level delegation to Baidoa in the South West State of Somalia. Their discussions focused on political reconciliation, humanitarian efforts, security, and the ongoing fight against al-Shabaab. The delegation included members such as a senior African Union (AU) envoy, military officials of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), and a Chinese envoy. The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia Mohammed El-Amine Souef, led the delegation, while Chinese Ambassador to Somalia Fei Shengchao was also in attendance. The discussions centered on the upcoming ATMIS troop drawdown from Somalia and preparations underway to meet the June deadline. The AU mission has stated that the drawdown or troop withdrawal is in compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2628 and 2670. These resolutions require ATMIS to reduce its forces and gradually hand over security responsibilities to the Somali Security Forces. The delegation commended the efforts of the Somali Security Forces, the South West State leadership, and ATMIS towards the restoration of security and stability in the state. They also reaffirmed their commitment to support ongoing security and peacebuilding efforts in Somalia. This is an important step towards restoring peace and stability in the state, and it is encouraging to see the collaboration between the different forces in the state to combat security threats posed by al-Shabaab.