AU Troops Begin Withdrawal From Somalia

The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) has started a drawdown in compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2628(22) and 2670(22), which mandate ATMIS to withdraw 2,000 soldiers by the end of June 2023, Shabelle Media Network reports.

ATMIS, with the support of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia, has handed over the first Forward Operating Base at Xaaji Cali in Hirshabelle State to the Somali National Army. The base was the responsibility of ATMIS Burundi National Defence Forces.

Writing for Voice of America, Mohamed Olad Hassan says security experts are warning that a rapid collapse of state institutions may await the country when the ATMIS mandate ends at the end of 2024, unless the UN weapons embargo on the country is lifted.

Abdisalam Yusuf Guled, the founder of Eagle Range Services, a security company in Mogadishu, and former deputy chief of the National Security Agency, is among those who voiced their concerns.

"I have a great concern that Somalia could be another Afghanistan if the African Union troops leave the country, without Somalia getting strong and well-armed security forces that have international funding and backing similar to that for ATMIS," Guled said.

On the other hand, former deputy chief of Somalia's National Intelligence and Security Agency, or NISA, Ismail Dahir Osman, said he thinks the militants are on a downward spiral and that they cannot endanger Somalia's government, once African troops leave the country.


Officers from the Sierra Leonean contingent serving under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) mount a guard of honor during a familiarization visit by the new ATMIS Police Commissioner, Commissioner of Police Hillary Sao Kanu, to sector 6 in Kismayo, Somalia in March 2023.

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