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Security forces take security measures at the area after bomb attack during the passage of an African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) convoy in Mogadishu, Somalia on April 03, 2023. (Photo: CFP)

African Union mulls follow-on mission in Somalia in 2025

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The African Union is considering a follow-on mission after the official exit of the current mission in December, a senior envoy in the country said.

The African Union Special Representative for Somalia Mohamed El-Amine Souef confirmed in a statement issued Tuesday in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, that the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) will exit the country in December but a new follow-on mission is being planned following a formal request by Somalia.

“Somalia’s formal request for a follow-on mission underscores the need for continued international support in stabilizing the region,” Souef said in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

The AU envoy’s remarks follow a visit to Dhobley, in Jubaland State, Monday to reinforce ongoing peace support operations and uplift the spirits of the African Union troops stationed in southern Somalia.

The Sector Two Area of Responsibility covering Middle and Lower Jubaland is manned by ATMIS Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) troops.

ATMIS is preparing for the drawdown of an additional 4,000 troops from Somalia in June.

The AU mission withdrew 5,000 troops from Somalia and handed over 13 military bases to the Somali Security Forces during the first and second phases of the drawdown concluded last year.

During the visit, Souef urged KDF troops to remain vigilant against al-Shabab and praised them for preparing the Somali security forces to take over security responsibilities from ATMIS.

“We are proud of the good work that you are doing in degrading al-Shabab. I commend you for the sacrifice and professionalism which has and continues the march towards the realization of peace and stability in Somalia,” Souef said.

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