Somalia has acknowledged the support from African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS], as the component celebrated its first anniversary since its creation after the exit of its peacekeepers African Union Mission in Somalia [AMISOM] which is largely associated with ongoing peace efforts in Somalia.
While ATMIS is just a new version of AMISOM, the government of Somalia still appreciates role played in fostering peace and protection of civilians in the country which is battling Al-Shabaab militants.
The group is still dominant in central and southern parts of the Horn of Africa nation. In a tweet, the federal government hailed Troops Contributing Countries [TCCs] for their continued support, noting that the country has made tremendous progress despite several underlying challenges.
There are close to 20,000 peacekeepers in the country selected from across East Africa.
“On the first anniversary of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia, we thank our courageous African allies for their sacrifice and support in our shared mission to combat terrorism in Somalia. Special thanks to the ATMIS Troop Contributing Countries,” read the statement.
Some of the troops contributing nations include Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda, and Burundi. Recently, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti agreed to increase the number of soldiers to Somalia without necessarily absorbing them into ATMIS as the country prepares for the second phase of operations against the Al-Shabaab extortionists.
Already, Ethiopia has dispatched the team to the country and is expected to assist Somali National Army [SNA] reclaim lost territories in the coming months.
Under the Somali Transition Plan [STP], it is anticipated that ATMIS troops would have completed their mission by December 2024 and handed security responsibilities to SNA. The Somali National Army has emphasized its commitment to liberate strategic towns with the help of ATMIS, US Africa Command, and the local militia.
In the first phase, the government said, Al-Shabaab suffered casualties with close to 3,000 recruits believed to have been killed according to government records.