AU Suspends Troops Withdrawal From Somalia

A delegation led by ATMIS Sector 6 Inspection Team Leader, Christian Kuker, on Tuesday visited the 6th motorised battalion to inspect their combat readiness. The team commended the troops for their efforts and lauded them for their readiness to protect the local population. PHOTO CREDIT: ATMIS

The African Union said it will consider the Somali government’s request to suspend the ATMIS forces reduction.

The AU Peace and Security Council confirms support for the Federal Government of Somalia request to extend the ATMIS Phase 1 Reconfiguration for the drawdown of 2,000 ATMIS troops from 31 December 2022 to 30 June 2023, as a slight revision of the operational timeline, while reconfirming the commitment to maintain the exit date of 31 December 2024 by ATMIS,” the Council said.

The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) was set to withdraw 2,000 troops starting next month and to exit completely by 2024, after which all responsibilities will be handed to the Somali Security Forces.

Three months ago, the Somali government launched a military offensive against the militant group Al-Shabaab in the country’s central regions. The government has vowed to eradicate the group from the country.

The African Union calls on the UN and the United Nations Security Council to provide additional funding and resources to the mission to successfully carry out its mandate.

ATMIS came into effect in April after the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) mandate ended. 

The plan for the AU and Somali government to keep troops longer in the country will need the approval of the United Nations Security Council.