The withdrawal of the African Union Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) forces, tasked with maintaining peace and security in Somalia, has begun.
The withdrawal of these forces, along with other troops, stationed in various locations across the country to support the Somali national army has been criticized for the first time.
The Deputy President of Jubaland State of Somalia, Mahamoud Sayed Adan, expressed serious concern about the immediate withdrawal of ATMIS forces, urging that a well-thought-out plan should be implemented instead.
He emphasized that untrained Somalia’s national forces and regional administration troops currently embedded with ATMIS should not hastily replace the departing AU forces.
Mahamoud Sayed Adan stated that the previous government under President Farmajo had failed in the implementation of the ATMIS troop withdrawal plan, and they had repeatedly requested its revision but to no avail.
The Deputy President of Jubaland stressed that the withdrawal of ATMIS from Somalia presents a new opportunity that can be exploited by Al-Shabaab, warning that innocent civilians helping ATMIS could be punished by Al-Shabaab.
The VP’s statement comes as Intense fighting erupted yesterday at a military base in the village of Geriley in Gedo region, involving Jubaland forces and Al-Shabaab militants.
The conflict broke out when Al-Shabaab militants launched a major attack on the Geriley village base, which was recently handed over by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to Jubaland Darwish forces.
Local residents described the battle as particularly fierce, resulting in significant casualties and damage that cannot be accurately assessed at this time.
The latest reports indicate that Jubbaland forces have regained control of Geriley village in Gedo region after successfully repelling the Al-Shabaab attack, as confirmed by Jubbaland’s Minister of Security, Yusuf Hussein Osman Dhuumaal.
Large areas under the administration of Jubaland state are among the most heavily contested by Al-Shabaab, and incidents of clashes and sporadic attacks involving Jubaland forces and Kenyan troops stationed in those regions are frequent.
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