AU delays pull-out of additional forces from Somalia – Goobjoog News English
By T. Roble
GOOBJOOG NEWS|ADDIS ABABA: The African Union has acceded to a request by Somalia to hold back the pullout of additional 2,000 forces but said it will stick to its December 2024 deadline for the withdrawal of all its forces from Somali soil.
The AU Peace and Security Council the 2,000 forces which were to leave Somalia at the end of this year in line with the ATMIS Phase 1 Reconfiguration plan will now stay until June 30, 2024.
The delay is based on a request by the Somali government over what its ambassador to the UN Abukar Osman told the UN Security Council this week was an ‘unsustainable’ situation of armaments. Osman said the Somali Security Forces had used a ‘major portion of their armaments’ in the last four months since the campaign against Al-Shabaab started.
“This challenge and other new developments have forced the Government to request an extension on initiating the first phase of the STP,” Osman said. The Somali Transition Plan is a roadmap that guides the preparation of Somali Security Forces to assume responsibilities from the AU forces.
ATMIS took over from AMISOM in April 2022 for a two-year transition period which is exp[ected to come to a close in December 2024. However, these timelines will largely be determined by the security situation in Somalia including the preparedness of the national security forces.
The STP was mooted in 2018 with a projected sunset in 2022 but that milestone was grossly missed leading to the recent timelines.
In the communique, the AU Peace and Security Council has urged the UN to ‘consider additional and predictable funding for ATMIS, to specifically address the resource implications of the extension of phase 1, and the persistent funding challenges that affect the implementation of the ATMIS mandate generally.’ However, this call has lasted for the longest with little response from the UN.
Troops Contributing Countries have persistently made similar calls and accused the UN Security Council of neglecting its role of maintaining world peace by failing to sustainably fund ATMIS and its predecessor AMISOM like other UN-mandated missions in various theatres.
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