NEW YORK (Kaab TV) – The United States has welcomed the extension of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and the United Nations Support Office for Somalia (UNSOS) mandate, hailing the constructive efforts of the UK-led Security Council in reaching this resolution.
Ambassador Robert Wood, Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs, conveyed the U.S.’s satisfaction with the decision made during this critical period for Somalia.
“We accept the necessity of delaying the second ATMIS troop reduction from September 30 to December 31, 2023, but we are concerned that slow progress in meeting mandate objectives over the past year will hamper completing the transition by the end of 2024,” Ambassador Wood remarked.
While emphasizing the importance of coordination between the Somali Federal Government and ATMIS, Ambassador Wood stressed that troop reductions should be based on operational necessity, accounting for changes in the security situation and strategic planning by both the Somali government and the African Union.
“As a result of today’s adoption of the resolution, ATMIS will continue reducing the threat posed by al-Shabaab and continue supporting the development of an integrated Somali security force capable of assuming progressively greater security responsibility,” added Ambassador Wood.
However, Ambassador Wood highlighted setbacks and urged the international community to work collaboratively with Somalia in developing an integrated security sector—a crucial element for a sustainable transition of security responsibilities. He emphasized the need for clear objectives, timelines, and resource requirements in ongoing and future security operations in Somalia.
Contrastingly, reports from Somalia indicate a fragmented and divided Somali security force, with recent clashes between rival clan militia groups resulting in dozens of casualties in the Middle Shabelle region.
Alarming accusations have surfaced regarding the director of the national security agency of Somalia (NISA), Mahad Salad, diverting government weapons to arm his clan’s militia.
In less than 40 days, over 10 individuals, including two businessmen in Dhusamareb, fell victim to targeted killings allegedly orchestrated by Salad’s militia, according to clan elders in central Somalia.
The worsening security situation in Somalia, including the capital Mogadishu, is intricately linked to widespread corruption affecting the country’s security and political institutions.
The U.S. calls for sustained international cooperation to address these challenges and ensure a stable and secure future for Somalia.