MOGADISHU (SD) – Somali government and African Union (AU) agreed on a transitional force to take over from African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) following talks between January 7 and 21.
According to an agreement entered into by the two parties, African Union Transitional Mission In Somalia (ATMIS) will replace Amisom which had been militarily supporting Somali government for more than a decade.
The new security force, the two sides agreed, will take the form and shape of AMISOM but with a mandate to set the ground for the handover of security responsibilities to SSF by December 2023.
The timelines are based on the revised Somalia Transitional Plan which envisages the assumption of responsibilities by the end of next year.
The force commander will be selected from the country with the highest troop contribution.
“ATMIS shall have a clear command and control structure with empowered Force Headquarters having OPCOM (Operation Command) over the Forces to ensure strategic coherence with the implementation of the STP,” the agreement read in part.
The mission will also be ready to receive forces from other countries besides the current five-member states will be welcome.
Transition from AMISOM to ATMIS to take first 9 months followed by conduct of joint decisive operations for another 9 months and a third 9 months period for decisive simultaneous operations against al-Shabaab.
According to the new deal, ATMIS forces will be withdrawn from the country after two years and nine months of operations to help Somalia.