Wednesday April 26, 2023
FILE - Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers, who are part of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), march to their armoured vehicles before an area patrol on the outskirts of the controlled area of the old airport in the coastal town of Kismayu in southern Somalia Nov. 12, 2013. (Reuters)
Officials from ATMIS (African Union Transition Mission in Somalia) troop contributing countries are finalising plans for a mid-year drawdown of two thousand troops from the East African country.
Countries committing soldiers and materiel to the mission are Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.
In terms of Resolution 2670 (2022), the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously endorsed the African Union (AU) commitment for a strategic, gradual, sector-by-sector approach to troop drawdown and maintain the ATMIS exit date of 31 December 2024.
The meeting in Kampala was to assess the preparedness of the Somali Security Forces to take over security responsibilities from AU troops, taking into consideration key aspects such as force generation and logistic support.
Speaking at the meeting, Ambassador Julius Joshua Kivuna, Head of the Ugandan Delegation and Head of the Regional Peace and Security Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noted the meeting was convened at the request of the Somalia federal government.
He stressed the importance of the meeting to evaluate ATMIS performance and facilitate preparations for the phased handover of security responsibilities to the Somali Security Forces.
“The meeting provides a crucial platform for us to deliberate on pertinent issues about ATMIS and most importantly to evaluate achievements made in the execution of the ATMIS mandate,” he added.
The meeting preceded subsequent meetings held by Permanent Secretaries and Chiefs of Defence Forces as well as Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence for ATMIS troop contributing countries.
Recommendations from all will go to an ATMIS head of state summit.