The Force Commander of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), Lt. Gen. Sam Okiding, on Monday visited Qoryole and Janaale Forward Operating Bases (FOBS) in Lower Shabelle region to assess the combat readiness of ATMIS troops ahead of the final phase of a military offensive against the Al-Shabaab.
Qoryole and Janaale FOBS are located in Sector One, which is under the Area of Responsibility of ATMIS Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) troops.
During the visit, the Force Commander inspected facilities at the two FOBS and held a meeting with the military leadership and later addressed the troops. He urged them to be more vigilant to ensure the safety of local communities during the transition period.
“My visit here today is to boost your morale and check on your readiness to face the enemy and safeguard the people of Somalia. Our main focus is to deliver on our mandate and leave behind a safe and secure Somalia when ATMIS exits in December 2024,” he said.
Lt. Gen. Okiding later held a meeting with area leaders including the local administration officials and clan elders to deliberate on how to collaborate with ATMIS forces to defeat the threat posed by Al-Shabaab.
He was accompanied by Sector One Commander Brig. Gen. Peter Omola and Col. Charles Asiimwe Kibaate, the Commander of Battle Group 37, in charge of Qoryole and Janaale FOBS.
ATMIS is currently in the process of handing over seven Forward Operating Bases and withdrawing 2000 troops by 30 June 2023 in compliance with UN Security Council Resolutions 2628 and 2670 that require ATMIS to gradually handover security responsibilities to Somali security forces.
The AU peacekeeping forces and the Somali National Army (SNA) are expected to launch a fresh round of a military offensive in a final push to degrade the Al-Shabaab and liberate remaining territories under their hold.
The Somali- led joint operation will target the Lower Shabelle and Jubaland regions as the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) continues to extend its authority.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).