Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud recently engaged in a productive meeting with officials from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), discussing crucial matters related to the ongoing offensives against the group Al-Shabaab, the phased withdrawal of ATMIS troops, and the joint technical assessment requested by the UN Security Council.
The meeting, attended by the head of ATMIS, Mohammed El-Amine Souef, and the ATMIS Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Sam Okiding, provided an opportunity for the officials to brief President Mohamud on ATMIS’s support for the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS)-led offensives against Al-Shabaab.
The African Union representatives commended the President and the FGS for their recent and ongoing successful operations in combating the extremist group.
Souef expressed satisfaction with the progress made in preparation for the planned withdrawal of an additional 3,000 ATMIS troops by the end of September.
The joint technical assessment, which was established to review the initial drawdown of 2,000 troops in June, has already commenced in Somalia and involves engaging with various stakeholders.
“The preparations for the second phase of the drawdown are progressing smoothly, and we are hopeful that it will be concluded by the end of September. We appreciate the President’s full support in this regard,” stated Souef, demonstrating optimism about meeting the agreed timelines.
President Mohamud, sharing his confidence in the progress, praised ATMIS for its achievements thus far.
He acknowledged that Somalia’s significant advancements in the fight against Al-Shabaab would not have been possible without the invaluable support of ATMIS and its predecessor, AMISOM.
Furthermore, the President expressed gratitude for the assistance provided by various partners and called for continued support to equip and enhance the capacity of the Somali Security Forces.
Recognizing the importance of sustained international cooperation, he appealed for additional resources to bolster Somalia’s security apparatus and consolidate the gains made in the ongoing efforts to establish peace and stability in the region.
The meeting between President Mohamud and ATMIS officials signifies the strong partnership between Somalia and the African Union in combating terrorism and working towards the country’s long-term stability.