The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) have reaffirmed their commitment to facilitate a smooth transfer of security responsibilities to the Somalia security forces in line with the Somali transition plan.
Speaking at a joint press briefing held at the Villa Somalia in Mogadishu, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) and Head of ATMIS Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef, and the Somalia Minister for Information, Culture and Tourism, Daud Aweis, said operations against Al-Shabaab to liberate remaining territories under their control were ongoing in various parts of the country.
“I wish to reaffirm our commitment to implementing the transfer of security responsibilities to the Somali Security Forces in line with the Somali transition plan and the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. In this regard, ATMIS has finalised plans to commence the drawdown of 2000 troops which must be done by end of this month.” Souef said.
Souef expressed confidence that the FGS has generated sufficient forces to take over security responsibilities once ATMIS troops leave.
“I have full confidence in the capabilities of the Somali Security Forces. The SNA has over the last one year shown growing ability to conduct military operations against the terrorists group. I wish to sincerely commend the leadership of His Excellency Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in ensuring force generation as well as bringing onboard various segments of the Somali public in the fight against Al-Shabaab.” Souef added.
Tourism minister Aweis commended the Somali security forces for their determination in ensuring peace and stability across the country and urged security agencies to continue to work together to eliminate the threat posed by Al-Shabaab.
“As you all know, there are ongoing operations to eliminate Al-Shabaab in many parts of the country. In addition, the second part of operations led by the Federal Government of Somalia is expected to start soon.” Aweis declared.
He outlined various initiatives taken by government officials and agencies to ensure the Somali public enjoys relative peace and stability.
“The Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia, His Excellency Hamza Abdi Barre, has urged for the acceleration of liberating the remaining areas in the hands of Kharijites Al-Shabaab.” Aweis added.
The two leaders welcomed the arrival of the new UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Somalia (SRSG) Catriona Laing and pledged to work with the UN to stabilise the country.
In line with the UN Resolution 2670, ATMIS is expected to drawdown 2000 troops by the end of this month in a phased hand over of security responsibilities to the Somali security forces in the implementation of the Somali Transition Plan. The AU peace
Mission is expected to fully exit Somalia by December 31, 2024.