Days after Somali Security Forces (SSF) liberated four towns in Galmadug State, ATMIS (African Union Transition Mission in Somalia) handed a forward operating base (FOB) to government security forces – another step on the joint concept of operations (CONCOPS) as part of the national transition plan.
ATMIS and its predecessor AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) occupied Maslah FOB since 2012.
“Maslah is the first facility to be handed over by ATMIS since its inception in April last year, following the end of the AMISOM mandate,” AU Special Representative Mohamed El-Amine Souef said at the ceremony attended by senior Somali government of Somalia officials as well as envoys and representatives of the UN and troop contributing countries (TCCs).
The handover follows departure of the ATMIS Burundi contingent and subsequent takeover by the Somali National Army on January 15. Souef emphasised the FOB’s key role in securing Mogadishu and facilitating Mission military operations.
“Geographically it enabled our troops to secure the major supply route connecting Mogadishu and the hinterland ensuring safe and secure movement of goods and services important for economic and social development,” Souef said.
Four days earlier Souef was on hand in the Galgadud region of Galmudug State where he oversaw the liberation of El-Dheer, Harardheere, Galcad and Hiindheere towns by Somali Security Forces (SSF).
“Al-Shabaab has lost ground and together with our Somali brothers we will continue to rid Somalia of Khawarij terrorists to give the population security, stability and peace,” he said.