MOGADISHU, Somalia — The Somali government on Friday welcomed the United Nations Security Council’s move to reconfigure the peacekeeping mission in the country as the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) which replaces African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) began operations on Friday.
The mandate of the 15-year-old AMISOM, composed of 20,000 soldiers, police, and civilians, which has been helping local security forces fight terrorism, ended on Thursday.
The ATMIS will work to prepare the Somali security forces to take over responsibility for security in the country by 2024.
The government remains committed to fully realizing the transfer of security responsibilities from ATMIS to the Somali Army, State-owned Radio Mogadishu reported.
The move comes after the Security Council on Thursday evening unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing a previous decision is made with the African Union on the reconfiguration of AMISOM into ATMIS as speakers underscored the need to continue countering Al-Shabab and expressed hope that the Somali government will gradually assume greater security responsibilities going forward.
The UNSC Resolution 2628 (2022) adopted unanimously encompasses the Council’s expectations for the Somali government relating to facilitating the electoral process and assuming responsibility for national security; the need to counter al-Shabab; the reconfiguration of AMISOM into the ATMIS in Somalia; the role of the UN Support Office in Somalia; requests for international financial support; and reporting requirements for the Somali government and the AU.
The UNSC authorized the new Mission to pursue, including conducting jointly planned and targeted operations with Somali security forces to degrade al-Shabab and affiliates linked to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Daesh and supporting the capacity development of the Somali security forces.
The Council authorized AU to deploy up to 19,626 uniformed personnel – including a minimum of 1,040 police personnel – until Dec. 31 and scale down the number to 17,626 between January 1, 2023, and March 31, 2023.
The Council said the conclusion of the electoral process will help progress national priorities and support the transition from international security support and called on Somali authorities to assume greater responsibility for national security.
AMISOM, whose mandate expired on Thursday, was a peace support operation with nearly 20,000 forces on the ground mainly from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, and Djibouti.