ATMIS to start withdrawal from Somalia amid progress in fight against al-Shabaab
Amid continuous progress by the Somali Armed Forces in their fight against al-Shabaab terrorist movement, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) said it may withdraw almost 2,000 military personnel from Somalia in June 2023.
UN Security Council resolutions
ATMIS said the gradual withdrawal of troops is in line with UN Security Council decisions to withdraw approximately 200 military personnel in June 2023, and hand over liberated areas to the Somali Armed Forces.
In the same context, AMIS Commander Maj. Gen. Marius Ngendabanka said the withdrawal of 2,000 military personnel would not affect the security of key government facilities, if the special security forces of Somalia take over responsibility.
In 2022, the UN Security Council announced the formation of a new African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia, whose mission would be to combat al-Shabaab.
The council said the mission would be reduced gradually to zero in December 2023.
The al-Qaeda-leaning al-Shabaab has entered a state of great weakness, as a result of the military operation launched by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia and successfully implemented by the army and police forces throughout the country.
Ebb and flow
The military operation launched by President Mohamud has achieved great successes during the recent period.
This undermined the terrorist movement, something that was confirmed by the Somali government on May 4, 2023.
It said al-Shabaab's attacked dropped by 70%, as a result of the military successes achieved by the current war on terrorism.
The movement is now collapsing in Somalia, as disagreements and defections hit its leadership, with the army intensifying its strikes on its positions.
According to a statement by the Somali government, 80% of liberated cities are currently enjoying a state of significant security stability.
It added that this opens the door for the implementation of development projects in in these cities.
African affairs specialist, Samar Abdullah, said Somalia now prepares for a new stage by taking over all security responsibility with the first withdrawal ATMIS troops.
"The troops were deployed only one year ago," Abdullah told The Reference.
She referred to preparations by the mission to withdraw 2,000 troops by next June 30.
"This reflects the credibility of the African Union which plans to end the ATMIS mission by December 31, 2024," Abdullah added.