The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) said Friday the troop withdrawal will not affect security and stability in Somalia.
Mohamed El-Amine Souef, the special representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia and head of ATMIS, said the AU mission remains committed to ensuring an efficient and effective transition process that would not compromise the security of Somalis.
“The objective of the drawdown was to facilitate the gradual transfer of security responsibilities to the Somali Security Forces,” Souef said in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, on Friday.
He said the ATMIS is dedicated to security in Somalia and is looking forward to the next phase of a Somali-led offensive which will further degrade al-Shabab, reinforce stabilization and liberate more communities.
The ATMIS on June 30 completed handing over seven military bases and withdrawal of 2,000 troops in compliance with UN Security Council Resolutions 2628 and 2670 that require ATMIS to gradually hand over security responsibilities to Somali security forces.
The mission will withdraw another 3,000 troops by September and the Somalian forces are set to take over the overall security responsibilities from the ATMIS by Dec. 31, 2024.