The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat has honoured the service of African Union troops, whom have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the mission to restore peace and security in Somalia.
He spoke on the first anniversary of the reconfigured African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), that replaced the Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), on 1 April 2022, in support of the Federal Republic of Somalia’s mission to tackle terrorism in its pursuit for durable peace, security and stability.
In a statement, Faki commended the leadership of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for the important political gains and strong efforts that the federal government and security forces continue to deploy.
He further praised the unwavering determination of the Troop and Police Contributing Countries in their support of the country’s vision to achieve peace and stability.
Additionally, the Chairperson also extended his deep gratitude to all stakeholders, including partners, for their invaluable contributions in support of ATMIS and the implementation of the Somali Transition plan (STP), in furtherance of peace and stability in Somalia.
He reiterated the commitment of the African Union to continue working closely with the government and people of Somalia in their legitimate quest for lasting peace, security and sustainable development.
While marking the one year anniversary, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia reiterated its commitment to strengthen cooperation with the Federal Government and build new partnerships to speed up Somalia’s stabilisation process.
Addressing journalists at a joint press conference held at the Mission Headquarters in Mogadishu, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef said ATMIS remains committed to assisting Somalia achieve long-term peace and security.
“I would like to salute in a special way the contribution of the ATMIS Troops and Police Contributing Countries, particularly the sacrifices made by our gallant soldiers in restoring peace and stability in Somalia,” said Amb Souef in the company of Somalia’s Federal Minister of Defense, Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur.
Since its reconfiguration from AMISOM to ATMIS in April 2022, the transition mission has achieved tremendous gains in securing territories thanks to the commitment of its military, police and civilian units.
“An overview of the situation in ATMIS area of responsibility in the past year shows a decrease in Al-Shabaab activities with the security situation remaining calm,” he added.
Amb Souef also singled out international partners among them the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and the European Union (EU) for praise for their continued support not only to the Mission but also to the people of Somalia.
On his part, Nur commended ATMIS for its contribution to the Somali-led peace and security process and promised a better future for the residents.
“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate our ATMIS partners from the military, police and civilian units. Your continued sacrifices will forever be remembered. We have jointly achieved key milestones in the past one year,” said Nur.
He added that the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) would continue collaborating with ATMIS to ensure a smooth transfer of security responsibilities to Somali Security Forces in accordance with the Somalia Transition Plan (STP).
“Your continuous efforts to enhance coordination and cooperation have been phenomenal and we look forward to closely working with you as you fulfil your mandate, and as we jointly tackle the implementation of our Concept of Operations,” added Nur.
Earlier, Amb. Souef and Minister Nur paid their respects to the fallen soldiers by laying wreaths at the Force Headquarters as a symbol of solidarity with ATMIS troops battling Al-Shabab and other armed groups in various parts of the country.
Other ATMIS senior leadership present included the Deputy Force Commander in charge of Operations and Planning, Maj. Gen, Marius Ngendabanka; Commissioner of Police (CP), Hillary Sao Kanu; Deputy Force Commander in charge of Logistics and Support, Maj. Gen. Peter Kimani Muteti and ATMIS Chief Military Information Officer (CMIO), Col Mohamed Sirat Yusuf among others.
ATMIS is composed of the military, police and civilian units, which continue to play a significant role in the peace process.