Kenya: Ruto, Guelleh Insist On Strategic Atmis Drawdown to Preserve Amisom Gains

Nairobi — President William Ruto and his Djibouti counterpart Ismail Guelleh have emphasized on the importance of aligning the drawdown of A regional force m in Somalia with the country’s security capabilities.

The two leaders who spoke at a press conference in Djibouti appeared to suggest that they would not support any proposal to terminate the mandate of troops in Somalia without assurances of Somalia’s capability to effectively tackle Al Shabaab.

In line with the UN Resolution 2670, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) is expected to drawdown 2,000 troops by June 30 in a phased hand over of security responsibilities to the Somali security forces in the implementation of the Somali Transition Plan.

Ruto and Guelleh insisted on the need to safeguard successes of ATMIS’ predecessor, the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).

“As troop contributing countries to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) we agreed that the upcoming IGAD Summit should address the Somalia transition plan while safeguarding the gains made by AMISOM/ATMIS.”

They added that the drawdown must ensure Somalia’s security forces assume control of areas liberated from the hands of the Al-Qaeda linked jihadist group Al-Shabaab.

“On the regional front, we affirmed our common goal of promoting peace and stability in the Horn of Africa region,” Ruto said.

December 2024 exit

The AU Peace Mission has until 31 December 2024 to exit Somalia.

The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the ATMIS have both reaffirmed their commitment to facilitate a smooth transfer of security responsibilities to the Somalia security forces.

Speaking at a joint press briefing held at the Villa Somalia in Mogadishu on June 8, AU Special Representative to Somalia Mohamed El-Amine Souef, and the Somalia Minister for Information, Culture and Tourism, Daud Aweis, said operations against Al-Shabaab to liberate remaining territories under their control were ongoing in various parts of the country.

“I wish to reaffirm our commitment to implementing the transfer of security responsibilities to the Somali Security Forces in line with the Somali Transition Plan and the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions,” Souef, also Head of ATMIS, assured.

Ambassador Souef expressed confidence that the FGS has generated sufficient forces to take over security responsibilities once ATMIS troops leave.