United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support Atul Khare has wrapped up his four-day visit to Somalia, pledging that the UN will ramp up its support for stabilization efforts in the country.
“I am happy that the institutions of the government of Somalia are preparing themselves to assume the security responsibilities which are their sovereign responsibilities,” Khare said in a statement issued in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Thursday evening.
He said the UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) would do all in its power to ensure that the Somali security forces are able to take full control of security responsibilities as troops from the African Union (AU) Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) gradually withdraw.
Khare stressed that for a successful transition to be achieved — as envisaged by the AU and the UN — Somali security forces must take over full security responsibilities from the ATMIS with the help of the UNSOS.
Khare, who also visited Dhusamareb, the capital of Galmudug State, and met with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and other senior officials, discussed the ongoing military offensive against al-Shabab militants, ATMIS troop withdrawal, and UNSOS’ support in post-ATMIS Somalia.
“I am confident that under the leadership of the president, Somalia will win the war against al-Shabab and other armed groups that try to disturb the peace and security and thereby compromise the economic prosperity and development of this country,” Khare said.
He reiterated that the UNSOS would continue providing medical casualty evacuations for Somali security forces on the battlefield, adding that between Jan. 1 and the end of August, 739 casualty evacuations were conducted.
Somali Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khalid Omar Ali thanked the UN for the logistical support offered in the ongoing transfer of security responsibilities. “We are growing up, and we hope the UN will help us to grow more and become self-sufficient,” Ali said.
The ATMIS is expected to scale down its troop numbers this month by a further 3,000 personnel after successfully withdrawing 2,000 troops and handing over six military bases to Somali forces in June.