AU peacekeeping mission to reduce troop presence in Somalia by 3,000 personnel
In a significant development, the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia has announced plans to withdraw an additional 3,000 troops from the country. Lieutenant General Sam Okiding, the mission’s commander, shared this information during a press conference in the capital city, Mogadishu.
This withdrawal is the second phase of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) troop reduction, with preparations already underway. The first batch of 2,000 peacekeeping troops had departed earlier this year as part of the Somalia Transition Plan (STP), a collaborative effort between the Somali government and its partners to transfer security responsibility to the Somali armed forces.
Lt. Gen. Okiding emphasized that ATMIS would continue working closely with the Somali government, the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), and other stakeholders to ensure a seamless transfer of security responsibilities to the Somali Security Forces. To prevent any security vacuum upon its exit by the end of December 2024, ATMIS will implement appropriate measures.
The African Union Mission in Somalia, previously known as AMISOM and now referred to as ATMIS, has been authorized by the African Union and mandated by the UN Security Council to operate in Somalia since 2007. The mission’s primary objective is to support the Somali government in its fight against the al-Shabaab terrorist group.
Al-Shabaab has significantly increased its attacks since the re-election of Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for a second term last year. President Mohamud has declared an “all-out war” on al-Shabaab in response to their escalated activities.
Source: Anadolu Agency