Friday April 28, 2023
Kampala (HOL) - The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and the Federal Republic of Somalia have pledged a coordinated and deliberate exit strategy for African Union troops from Somalia. This follows the Summit of Heads of State and Government of Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) to ATMIS and the Federal Republic of Somalia, which highlighted their accomplishments in executing the Somali Transition Plan (STP) and the drawdown of troops. The two-day summit held in Entebbe, Uganda, also stressed the need for enhanced logistical support to the Somali Security Forces (SSFs) during the ATMIS withdrawal.
At a Ministerial Meeting
in Kampala, Uganda, Defense and Foreign Affairs ministers from countries contributing troops to ATMIS and its partners urged a careful and coordinated exit of African Union troops from Somalia to maintain security gains. The meeting addressed the initial phase of the drawdown of 2,000 ATMIS troops by June 30, 2023.
Uganda's Foreign Affairs Minister, Odongo Jeje Abubakhar, praised the ATMIS Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) and Somali Security Forces for strengthening Somalia's security situation. He said, "It is therefore prudent to effect joint assessment of the security situation, planning, and coordination as TCCs to execute drawdown timelines and for the Federal Government of Somalia to ensure force generation and integration to assume the security responsibilities."
The joint communique underscored progress in Somalia and the commitment of TCCs and partners to support the Federal Government of Somalia in achieving peace, security, and stability within the country and the region. It emphasized the importance of respecting Somalia's sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence, and unity, and reaffirmed the TCCs' commitment to assist the Federal Government of Somalia in its stabilization efforts.
The ATMIS Troop Contributing Countries and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia were lauded for their significant sacrifices in combating terrorism, pacifying Somalia, and successfully implementing the ATMIS mandate, including support for smooth political transitions and stabilization initiatives.
The operational success against Al-Shabaab and the growing capacity of Somali Security Forces (SSFs) to lead security operations were acknowledged. The TCCs recognized the Federal Government of Somalia's efforts in force generation, regeneration, and integration as a crucial component for taking over security responsibilities from ATMIS by December 2024.
As the ATMIS troop drawdown nears, the international community has been urged to ensure sustainable logistics support for the Somali Security Forces. The Head of UNSOS, Assistant Secretary-General, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, emphasized the importance of logistics support, stating, "We would also wish to recommend increased support to the development of a Somali logistics capability that is sufficient, affordable, and sustainable."