Officials from countries contributing troops to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), are meeting in Kampala, Uganda, to review and evaluate the mission’s performance in Somalia.
In attendance at the four-day meeting which opened on today, 24 April 2023, are officials from the African Union Commission, ATMIS Mission Headquarters, Troop Contributing Countries of Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda, Somalia, and representatives from the international partners.
Delegates will deliberate on how to smoothly implement the ATMIS troop drawdown, with the first phase, involving the withdrawal of 2,000 troops from Somalia, scheduled for the end of June 2023 under revised timelines.
Under Resolution 2670 (2022), the UN Security Council unanimously endorsed the African Union commitment to adopt a strategic, gradual, sector-by-sector approach to the troop drawdown and maintain the ATMIS exit date of 31 December 2024.
The meeting in Kampala will assess the preparedness of the Somali Security Forces to take over security responsibilities from the African Union troops, with consideration of key aspects including force generation and logistical support.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Ambassador Julius Joshua Kivuna, the Head of the Ugandan Delegation and Head of the Regional Peace and Security Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noted that the meeting had been convened at the request of the Federal Government of Somalia.
“During the US-Africa Summit in December 2022, H.E Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of Somalia requested H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda to host the Heads of State of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia, ATMIS, to discuss the status of implementation of our mandate and come up with resolutions on the way forward. That’s why we are here,” he said.
Ambassador Kivuna also reiterated the importance of the meeting to evaluate the performance of ATMIS and to facilitate preparations for the phased handover of security responsibilities to the Somali Security Forces.
“The meeting provides a crucial platform for us to be able to deliberate on pertinent issues about ATMIS, and most importantly to evaluate the achievements made in the execution of the ATMIS mandate,” he added.
Monday’s meeting precedes subsequent meetings to be held by Permanent Secretaries and Chiefs of Defence Forces as well as Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence for ATMIS Troop Contributing Countries.
The recommendations from the meetings will feed into the ATMIS Head of State Summit to be held on Thursday this week.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).