ATMIS says troops’ drawdown show of commitment to rebuild Somalia

The withdrawal of troops by the African Union from Somalia is a sign of progress and Somalia’s commitment to rebuilding their country, an AU peacekeeping official said Friday.

The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) Sector Five Commander Oscar Hatungimana said the handing over of military bases by ATMIS to Somali security forces demonstrates that the pan-African body has full confidence in their Somali counterparts.

“We have seen them successfully attack, seize, and hold ground. This sends a clear message to terrorist groups that their days are numbered. A professionally trained and well-equipped Somali National Army Force (SNAF) is indeed a game changer in combating terrorism in Somalia,” Hatungimana told the Somali security forces in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

The statement came after AMTIS transferred control of the Jowhar town military base to the SNAF.

The Jowhar military base was the second one to be handed over in Phase Three of the troop drawdown, which started on June 15.

Situated in the strategic Middle Shabelle region, the Jowhar town military base has been under the command of the Burundi National Defence Forces (BNDF) since 2014.

The base serves as a security buffer for safeguarding the Hirshabelle State presidential palace, Parliament, and the local community.

The facility is also key to securing the Mogadishu-Jowhar main supply route, providing very important persons (VIP) security escorts, and assisting humanitarian organizations in the region.

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