Head of UNSOS reaffirms UN commitment to the Somalia transition process
Jowhar – The Head of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), Assistant Secretary-General Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, on Wednesday affirmed the United Nations commitment to enhance collaboration among the key actors to ensure a successful transition process.
Dr. Kacyira was part of a high level delegation of officials from the Federal Government of Somalia, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and the UN on what was her maiden visit to Jowhar, the administrative capital of Hirshabelle State. The Federal Government of Somalia was represented by the National Security Advisor, Hussein Sheikh Ali, and the ATMIS delegation was led by Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Sam Okiding.
“I felt that if we visited together, then we can all have a look at what is happening and we can work together to ensure that the spirit of teamwork, the commitment to support Somalia, to fully take charge of its destiny, in a dignified manner, this would be the best thing we could do” said Dr. Kacyira when she addressed UN, ATMIS and SSF personnel at the UN compound in Jowhar.
During the visit to Jowhar, which also serves as the headquarters of the ATMIS Burundi contingent, Dr. Kacyira reiterated UNSOS’ commitment to supporting the transition process, with ATMIS gradually handing over security responsibilities to the Somali Security Forces (SSF). She highlighted the importance of decentralized logistical support functioning effectively to the benefit of ATMIS and the SSF.
“The UN family and specifically UNSOS want to ensure that we give the best of our support to ATMIS and the SSF to ensure that the facilities, the logistical support that has been established can be utilized in the transition process to ensure a seamless transfer of security responsibilities and capacities from ATMIS to SSF,” said Dr. Kacyira.
To prepare the Somali security forces for a gradual transfer of security responsibilities, UNSOS last year facilitated the establishment of Joint Operations Centres (JOCs) in all the six ATMIS sector headquarters to enable joint planning and coordination of operations against Al Shabaab. Additionally, UNSOS continues to offer interoperability training to SSF and ATMIS personnel.
The Somalia National Security Advisor, Hussein Sheikh Ali, noted the visit to Jowhar was to assess the level of preparedness ahead of the second phase of the ATMIS troop drawdown in September.
“We came here to learn and see what capabilities are present, to assess how prepared we are,” he said while affirming the commitment of the Federal Government to a successful transition process.
“We are making every effort to ensure that the transition happens in the safest and the most secure way, building towards long-term stability” he said.
The ATMIS Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Sam Okiding, noted that the visit comes at a critical period of the transition process which calls for meticulous planning and concerted efforts by all stakeholders.
“We need coordination, and we need to work together,” Lt. Gen. Okiding said.
Under the second phase, ATMIS is expected to drawdown 3,000 troops from Somalia by the end of September.
In the first phase completed in June, UNSOS played a key role in facilitating the drawdown of 2,000 ATMIS troops and the handover of six Forward Operating Bases to the SSF.
UNSOS handed over several equipment and facilities to the Somali National Army including water treatment plants, generators, solar panels, and accommodation units. The UN body also facilitated the movement of personnel and repatriation of troops.
The UN body is mandated to provide logistical support to ATMIS and Somali security forces working in joint operations with the AU peacekeeping forces.
Currently, UNSOS provides logistical support to 13,900 members of the SSF through the Trust Fund in Support of SSF. The Trust Fund depends fully on contributions from Member States.