Somalia and AU military commanders in talks over transition to new mission

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African standby force 1
Photo: Stuart Price/UN AMISOM troops on Mogadishu's frontline.

Senior Somali and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) military officials have kicked off a five-day meeting to discuss modalities ahead of the new AU peace support operation in the country, the AU mission said on Tuesday.

Francisco Madeira, special representative of the AU Commission Chairperson for Somalia said the meeting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, which is mainly between AMISOM and the Somali National Army (SNA) commanders, seeks to agree on various approaches to aid the transition, as well as discuss operational plans for the new mission.

AMISOM, which has operated in Somalia since 2007, will be replaced by a new mission to be called the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) from April 1.

“This conference, being the last under the AMISOM mandate, will mark an important milestone in the roadmap towards peace and stability in Somalia as AMISOM transits to ATMIS, which will ultimately hand over full security responsibilities to Somali security forces by the end of 2024,” Madeira said in a statement.

The conference brought together representatives from the government, military commanders from the SNA and AMISOM, as well as officials from the United Nations and several international partners.

Madeira reiterated the need for the key players to work collaboratively to effectively implement the new mission’s Concept of Operations (CONOPS 2022-2024), which, together with the revised Somalia Transition Plan, will aid the attainment of the new mission’s mandate by the end of 2024.

He said the conference is a springboard of transition to a series of security activities that will see Somalia regain its glory.

The Somali Transition Plan which was first agreed upon in December 2017 between Somalia and the international community, details guidelines aimed at enabling Somalia to assume full responsibility for its security.

It is expected that at the end of the conference, the key stakeholders would have agreed on realistic modalities for the handover and takeover of AMISOM military bases in order to create, among other priorities, mobile forces under ATMIS. Enditem

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