ATMIS completes phase Two drawdown – Seven Military Bases transferred to the Government of Somalia; two others closed

3 Feb 2024

ATMIS completes phase Two drawdown – Seven Military Bases transferred to the Government of Somalia; two others closed

Mogadishu – The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), with logistical support from the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), has completed Phase Two drawdown, which involved reducing the troop count by 3000 soldiers. ATMIS transferred seven Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) to the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and closed two others. 

The FOBs transferred include State House and Parliament from ATMIS Uganda People’s Defence Forces in Sector One; Bio Cadale, Raga Ceel, and Qorillow from ATMIS Burundi National Defence Forces in Sector Five; Burahache from ATMIS Kenya Defence Forces in Sector Two; and Old Airport from ATMIS Ethiopia National Defence Forces in Sector Six. The FOBs in Sarille and Old Kismayo Airport, were closed – both were from ATMIS Kenya Defence Forces in Sector Six and Two respectively. 

At an official ceremony in Mogadishu, the African Union Special Representative for Somalia and Head of ATMIS, Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef, and Somalia’s National Security Advisor, Hussein Sheikh Ali, signed the Land Release Title Agreement. This agreement marks the official transfer of control from ATMIS to the Federal Government of Somalia. 

The OIC Head of UNSOS, Qurat-ul-Ain Sadozai, signed the Gifting Certificate for UN- owned equipment within the FOBs to the FGS. UNSOS is gifting Generators, Solar panels, and Water treatment plants and handing over the FOBs in working condition. In addition, UNSOS has also committed to providing technical training for Somalia Security Forces designated by the government, to ensure the sustainable operation and maintenance of the equipment. 

The African Union Commission Director for Conflict Management in the Political Affairs, Peace, and Security Department, Dr. Alhadji Sarjoh Bah, acknowledged the considerable strides made by Somalia in bolstering its security. He commended Somali security forces for their bravery and dedication to combating Al-Shabaab, while also recognizing their primary responsibilities in the country’s progress. 

He reaffirmed the African Union’s unwavering commitment to Somalia’s Transition process, emphasizing that the African Union stands ready to support ongoing efforts towards achieving lasting peace, security, and stability. 

Somalia’s National Security Advisor, Hussein Sheikh-Ali, thanked the African Union, United Nations and international partners for their sacrifice and dedication in pursuit of peace and security in Somalia. 

“We thank the African union for your sacrifices to Somalia. To the international community and partners, we thank you for standing with us in the fight to keep our country safe and secure. I want to assure the public that this drawdown is real, and it is happening. ATMIS is ending and we are progressing towards a future where Somalia’s safety and security will be self-sustained, without ATMIS,” said the National Security Advisor. 

The OIC Head of UNSOS, Qurat-Ul-Ain Sadozai, reaffirmed UNSOS commitment to supporting ATMIS and the FGS throughout the transition process. She highlighted the successful handover of the FOBs and commended the partnership between ATMIS, FGS and UNSOS while pledging continued support and collaboration. 

“As UNSOS, our commitment to supporting both ATMIS and the FGS remains steadfast. We stand ready to support Phase Three of the drawdown and provide the needed logistical support,” said the OIC Head of UNSOS. 

The Force Commander for ATMIS, Lt. Gen. Sam Okiding, lauded the exceptional teamwork by the Drawdown Tripartite Committee – ATMIS, FGS and UNSOS for successfully completing both Phase One and Two. 

“Our collective efforts have been significant to drawing down a total of 5000 troops in both Phase One and Two. We will soon start preparations for the next phase, Phase Three, to reduce our numbers by 4000 troops in June. I am confident in our continued success based on our united and cohesive approach. For us, failure is not an option,” Lt. Gen. Okiding emphasized. 

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