Top military commanders from Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Burundi have agreed to enhance the fight against al-Shabaab and help the Somali government strengthen the security of the country.
The agreement was reached during a four-day meeting held in Mogadishu, Somalia, by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)’s Atmis force.
The meeting was chaired by Atmis Force Commander Lt. Gen. Sam Okiding. In a statement released by Atmis, he said that the commanders discussed a wide range of issues, including the general security situation and the threats posed by al-Shabaab.
They came up with resolutions to be implemented by the respective sector commanders.
The meeting evaluated the first phase of Atmis troop withdrawal from Somalia, which was successfully implemented in June. Atmis withdrew 2,000 soldiers from Somalia and handed over six Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) to the Somali Security Forces (SSF) in line with the UN Security Council Resolutions 2628, 2670, and 2687.
“We also discussed the transition in detail, mainly phase one drawdown and its impact as well as our capacity and capabilities for subsequent operations,” added Lt. Gen. Okiding.
The meeting, conducted under the theme “Enhancing Synergy Towards Implementation of ATMIS CONOPS,” also discussed the upcoming phase two withdrawal of 3,000 Atmis troops, which is expected to be completed by the end of September. The commanders deliberated on the FOBs to be handed over to the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and their security implications.
The Atmis force has been in Somalia since 2007 and has been instrumental in helping the Somali government fight al-Shabaab, a militant group that has been waging a deadly insurgency in Somalia for over a decade. Despite the progress made, al-Shabaab remains a serious threat to the stability and security of Somalia.
The Atmis force, comprised of soldiers from several African nations, has been working closely with the Somali Security Forces to root out al-Shabaab from the country. The withdrawal of Atmis troops is expected to be gradual, with the aim of eventually handing over complete responsibility to the Somali Security Forces.
The agreement reached by the Atmis commanders is a significant step towards ensuring the security and stability of Somalia. It demonstrates the commitment of the participating countries to work together and support the Somali government in its efforts to combat al-Shabaab. The strengthened cooperation between the Atmis force and the Somali Security Forces is expected to lead to a more effective and sustained effort to defeat al-Shabaab and ensure a peaceful future for Somalia.