AU Special Representative Emphasizes Collaboration to Foster Peace in Somalia

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The African Union Special Representative for Somalia, Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef, has called for collaboration among stakeholders to foster peace and stability in Somalia.

Ambassador Souef made the remarks on Monday, March 18, 2024, while visiting Dhobley, in Jubaland State, to reinforce ongoing peace support operations and uplift the spirits of the African Union troops under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), stationed in southern Somalia.

Accompanied by distinguished officials from ATMIS, who included the Deputy Force Commander responsible for Support and Logistics, Major General Peter Kimani Muteti, and ATMIS Police Commissioner, CP Hillary Sao Kanu, Ambassador Souef confirmed that ATMIS will exit Somalia in December but called for international collaboration and support for the African Union’s consideration of a follow-on mission to ensure stability in the war-torn country.

β€œSomalia’s formal request for a follow-on mission underscores the need for continued international support in stabilizing the region,” said Ambassador Souef in his address to the ATMIS Kenya contingent troops in Dhobley.

He commended the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) troops for their dedication to implementing the ATMIS mandate and urged them to remain vigilant against Al-Shabaab. He also praised them for preparing the Somali Security Forces to take over security responsibilities from ATMIS. β€œWe are proud of the good work that you are doing in degrading Al-Shabaab. I commend you for the sacrifice and professionalism that has and continues the march towards the realization of peace and stability in Somalia,” noted Ambassador Souef.

Even though ATMIS is preparing for the drawdown of 4000 troops from Somalia in addition to the 5000 troops withdrawn in phases one and two concluded in June and December last year, Ambassador Souef and the Somali government underscore the need to extend the AU peacekeeping mandate in Somalia to prevent the country from falling back into the hands of the Islamist terrorist group Al Shabaab.

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