The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) says preparations for the drawdown of 2000 soldiers by 30 June 2023 are at an advance stage.
The drawdown is in compliance to United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 2628 and 2670 which mandates ATMIS to drawdown 2000 soldiers by the end of June and hand over security in agreed areas to Somali Security Forces (SSF).
The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) and Head of ATMIS, Ambassador Mohammed El-Amine Souef, says a joint technical committee with members drawn from appropriate stakeholders including the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and ATMIS have identified, and agreed on, Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) to be handed over from ATMIS to SSF or to be collapsed.
The Head of ATMIS, who was on an official visit to ATMIS Sector 5 headquarters in Jowhar said while ATMIS reduces the number of soldiers on the ground, the Somali Security Forces will increase its numbers to take over the areas that ATMIS will hand over.
The ATMIS Acting Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Marius Ngendabanka, who was with the SRCC for the working visit to Jowhar, said an operations order had already been released and the joint technical committee team is on schedule to meet the 30 June deadline.
He emphasized that the drawdown of 2000 ATMIS soldiers will not impact on security for key government installations and major population centres if the SSF takes over.
ATMIS continues conducts both joint targeted and routine operations to degrade terror group Al-Shabaab. In Mogadishu and the regions ATMIS provides security to population centres, main supply routes, key government institutions including Parliament, Presidential Palaces, seaports, airports, and airfields.
ATMIS also provides security to enable Humanitarian actors deliver much needed food and emergency relief items to communities in need and remote areas.