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ATMIS urges troops to remain vigilant ahead of withdrawal from Somalia

Thursday June 15, 2023

The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) on Wednesday called on its troops to remain vigilant ahead of a scheduled withdrawal.

Mohammed El-Amine Souef, the special representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia and head of ATMIS, led senior officials from the AU and the United Nations who visited Cadale military base in Hirshabelle State to assess preparations for its handover to the Somali security forces.

Souef lauded the Burundi troops serving as part of ATMIS and currently manning the Cadale base for a "long and outstanding commitment" to restoring peace and stability in Somalia.

"Burundi was the second country after Uganda to deploy on this AU mission, and together with Ugandan troops they played an active role in the liberation of Mogadishu and other areas, thereby facilitating state-building processes in Somalia," Souef said in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, after the visit.

"We are proud of you and your country, you have been good ambassadors for the entire continent. You are part of those who brought and made peace in this lovely country," Souef said in his address to the Burundian contingent.

The visit came at a time when ATMIS is expected to withdraw 2,000 troops by the end of June and another 3,000 by September in compliance with the UN Security Council Resolutions 2628 and 2670.

The Cadale military base is one of the three bases in Hirshabelle State to be handed over to Somali forces by the end of June.