African Union special representative lauds the Collaboration between African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) forces and key stakeholders in South West state
The AU Special Representative for Somalia, Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef, has praised ATMIS Ethiopia National Defence Forces (ENDF) for their close collaboration with key stakeholders in the South West State including the Somali Security Forces, the regional administration, the United Nations Country teams and other international partners.
Amb. Souef made the remarks on a joint mission with the Head of United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), Assistant Secretary-General Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, to Baidoa where they held discussions with officials of South West State and senior officials from the Somali security forces.
“I am very impressed with the deep levels of collaboration and engagements that exist between our ATMIS forces and the key stakeholders here. For the Joint Operation Centre, we see all these stakeholders participate and contribute to information gathering and analysis which is essential for the security and stability of this region,” declared Amb. Souef.
The delegation also included the visiting Joint Technical Assessment Team for the Phase one drawdown led by the acting Head of the African Union Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) African Union Commission, Zinurine Alghali, ATMIS Deputy Force Commander in charge of Logistics and Support Maj. Gen. Peter Kimani Muteti, ATMIS Deputy Police Commissioner CP Martin Amoru, and other senior ATMIS and UNSOS officials.
The ATMIS Sector three Commander, Brig. Gen. Besfat Fente, briefed the team on operations within their Area of Responsibility including the Joint operations Centre, threat analysis and ongoing collaborations with key stakeholders.
On the logistical support provided by UNSOS, Amb. Souef said it “contributes significantly” to enabling both ATMIS and Somali security forces to counter the Al-Shabaab insurgency and maintain security and stability in the region.
“Our presence here today is to reinforce the strong collaborative ties between ATMIS, the Federal Government of Somalia and our international partners for a better Somalia,” he added.
Amb. Souef commended the South West State administration led by President Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed “Laftagareen” for the close cooperation with ATMIS, UN and other international partners in achieving the objectives of restoring security and stability in the region.
“Somalia is currently faced with the twin challenges of terrorism and climate change, and it is our responsibility as the international community to stand and work with you to revive this beautiful country,” said the Head of UNSOS, Dr. Kacyira, reiterating the United Nations’ dedication to Somalia’s state-building processes.
She disclosed that UNSOS is actively pursuing the decentralisation of its services to better facilitate the support of the Somalia peace mission.
“We’re going to work as a team to support the decentralisation of our services, to make it easier for our partners serving and protecting the security of this nation. I know the power of decentralisation to improving efficiency in decision making and opeartions, therefore, we want to accord the best of services to you,” she added.
Southwest State Minister for Internal Security, Hassan Abdiqadir Mohamed, expressed gratitude to ATMIS and the UN for the steadfast support to the Somali-led peace and security process.
The joint visit to Baidoa which follows a similar visit to Kismayo, Jubaland State, takes place against the backdrop of ongoing preparations for the drawdown of 3,000 ATMIS troops by the end of September.
For the first phase in June 2023, ATMIS successfully withdrew 2,000 troops and handed over six Forward Operating Bases to the Somali National Army (SNA).
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).