Somalia Seeking Replacement Troops Ahead of ATMIS Departure

Published: February 16, 2024
Hussein Moalim

Mogadishu, Somalia – As the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) prepares to withdraw by the end of 2024, the Somali government is actively planning for its replacement, seeking foreign troops to ensure the country’s security, according to National Security Adviser Hussein Ali.

In an interview with VOA, Ali revealed that the government is drafting a plan outlining the number, roles, and potential origins of these replacement forces. Key goals include protecting crucial sites in the capital, Mogadishu, and safeguarding foreign embassies. Notably, these troops will not engage in combat against the militant group Al-Shabaab, leaving that responsibility solely to Somali government forces.

The envisaged troop strength ranges from 3,000 to 8,000, with a planned deployment duration of one year, extendable as needed. While Ali acknowledged the possibility of these forces operating under the auspices of the African Union, details remain unclear, including their specific mandate and designation.

This development reflects the complex transition underway in Somalia. ATMIS, formed in 2022 as the successor to the long-running AMISOM mission, has played a crucial role in stabilizing the country. However, its gradual drawdown necessitates contingency plans to maintain security gains.

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