The international community has been urged to support the peacebuilding effort to stabilize Somalia by the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).
Sam Okiding, the commander of the ATMIS Force, said that the world should support efforts to build peace in several crucial areas, including the development of security forces, the lifting of the arms embargo, capacity building,
on of predictable and long-term funding for ATMIS and the Somali government. Okiding stated that the AU forces have preserved their gains over the years by not losing any territory to al-Shabab in all sectors, thereby fulfilling their mandate of protecting civilians, UN agencies, and humanitarian organizations, among others. “It is one thing to capture, but it’s also another to maintain. ATMIS has consolidated all those gains,” he said in a statement issued in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Wednesday evening.
After successfully neutralizing al-Shabab in the Lower Juba, Lower Shabelle, Hiran, and Middle Shabelle regions, the ATMIS force commander praised ATMIS forces for conducting joint offensives with Somali security forces in the Galgaduud region. ATMIS, in collaboration with the UN and the Somali government, finished a technical evaluation of the first phase and is now preparing to withdraw an additional 3,000 troops, according to Okiding.
Okiding also reiterated ATMIS’ pledge of supporting the ongoing Somali-led military offensive against al-Shabab militants in order to ensure Somalia’s peace and security before its departure in December 2024. “Our goal, as ATMIS and all stakeholders in this mission, is to see a more secure, stable, and prosperous Somalia at peace with itself and with the rest of the world,” he stated.
In the first phase of the drawdown completed in June, ATMIS withdrew 2000 troops and handed over six military bases in compliance with UN Security Council Resolutions 2628 and 2670 (2022).