AU blocked Somalia request for 3-month delay in ATMIS drawdown – sources

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The African Union has blocked the request of the Somali government to the Security Council on the 19th of this month to delay the drawdown of ATMIS troops for 3 months.

Although the African Union has not yet issued an official statement on this matter, diplomats in Ethiopia at the AU headquarters said that the plan to withdraw 3,000 soldiers from Somalia at the end of this month is still the same, and nothing has changed. This is the request of the Somali government

Somalia has asked the UN Security Council to suspend the withdrawal of ATMIS troops from the country to give the country’s forces time to reorganize after counter-attacks by Al-Shabaab, which forced them to withdraw from several places including Elbur.

“The Federal Government of Somalia officially requests a technical moratorium on the reduction of 3,000 ATMIS soldiers within three months,” said the letter, Hussein Sheikh Ali, the National Security Adviser sent to the President of Somalia on 19 this month to the Security Council.

The purpose of the request is to prevent a breach in the security of the bases that the Atmis forces are emptying, as the government has deployed its power to fight Al-Shabaab, and most of the forces are on the front lines.

On June 30th, Atmis completed the first phase of the reduction in which 2000 soldiers were taken, but among the lessons learned from the deadly attacks by Al Shabaab on some of the bases that were handed over to the National Army.

A resolution issued by the United Nations calls for ATMIS forces to withdraw from Somalia by the end of next year, handing over security responsibility to the Somali forces, which in June filled 6 bases that left the African Union.

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