Mogadishu, Somalia — The United Nations is in talks with Somalia and the African Union Transition Mission to Somalia (ATMIS) to ensure a successful security transition is achieved, a UN official said.
UN Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Martha Pobee, who led a delegation to Somalia this week, said the world body will ensure the Somali security forces are able to take full control of security responsibilities as ATMIS troops gradually withdraw without jeopardizing security gains.
“At this stage, I have to see how best we can fashion, and design the post-2024 plan or configuration,” said Pobee who led a high-level UN delegation to Somalia, according to a statement issued by ATMIS in the capital, Mogadishu, Thursday.
“Our role as a delegation is to talk to ATMIS and the government of Somalia and see how the security transition can be conducted in a way that enforces or consolidates the gains that we have made, great sacrifices involved, and thanks to the men and women who have played a role in this,” she added.
Under the drawdown schedule, some 3,000 ATMIS forces were to leave Somalia at the end of September, in a continuing withdrawal meant to gradually last until December 2024.
Pobee who spoke in Mogadishu Wednesday applauded the ATMIS for its contributions to peace and stability in Somalia. “I cannot say more in terms of commending ATMIS and its predecessor, AMISOM, for the great work done, and the critical role they have played in Somalia towards advancing peace and security in the country.”
Pobee who held talks with senior leadership of the ATMIS and UN Mission in Somalia said her visit is crucial to strengthening the collaboration between ATMIS, the Somali government and international partners and shaping Somalia’s security situation after ATMIS exits in December 2024.
Mohammed El-Amine Souef, the special representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia and head of ATMIS, lauded ATMIS’ contribution to the country’s stabilization and ongoing efforts to ensure a smooth transfer of security responsibilities to the Somali Security Forces.
Souef also noted that the Somali Security Forces have conducted successful offensive operations and liberated areas previously controlled by al-Shabab terrorists.
“We know that the main objective of ATMIS, the Somali government and the UN today is to defeat al-Shabab. The government took a couple of steps to defeat al-Shabab in the frontline, and they have conducted offensive operations supported by ATMIS and international partners,” he said.