Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

The African Union Special Representative for Somalia, Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef, on Monday visited Dhobley, in Jubaland State, to reinforce ongoing peace support operations and uplift the spirits of the African Union troops stationed in southern Somalia.

Accompanied by distinguished officials from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), Ambassador Souef’s delegation included the Deputy Force Commander responsible for Support and Logistics, Major General Peter Kimani Muteti, and ATMIS Police Commissioner, CP Hillary Sao Kanu.

The delegation was warmly welcomed by ATMIS Sector Two Commander Brig. Seif Salim Rashid and his team. During the visit, the delegation was also briefed on a medical training programme initiated by the ATMIS Kenya contingent to train and mentor Somali health workers. The initiative aims to build the capacity of health workers at the Dhobley General Hospital in midwifery, operating room and surgical procedures, alongside other essential healthcare protocols.

The sector commander conducted the delegation on a tour of the ATMIS base, including the Level Two Hospital in Dhobley. The Sector Two Area of Responsibility (AoR) covering Middle and Lower Jubaland is manned by ATMIS Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops.

Addressing the troops, the SRCC confirmed that ATMIS will exit in December, but the African Union is considering a follow-on Mission.

“Somalia’s formal request for a follow-on mission underscores the need for continued international support in stabilizing the region,” said Ambassador Souef in his address to the ATMIS Kenya contingent troops in Dhobley.

ATMIS is preparing for the drawdown of an additional 4000 troops from Somalia. The AU Mission withdrew 5000 troops in phase one and phase two concluded in June and December last year.

Ambassador Souef commended the KDF troops for their dedication to implementing the ATMIS mandate and urged them to remain vigilant against Al-Shabaab. He also 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-Shabaab. I commend you for the sacrifice and professionalism which has and continues the march towards realization of peace and stability in Somalia,” noted Ambassador Souef.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

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