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Somalia request delay in troop withdrawal

Mogadishu September 22, 2023 (SD) – Somalia’s federal government has requested the United Nations to assist in the withdrawal of the second phase of the ATMIS forces, which aims to withdraw 3,000 soldiers from the country by the end of this month.

A letter written by Somalia’s National Security advisor to the United Nations calls for urgent attention to this matter, citing serious security concerns related to the ongoing Al-Shabaab insurgency and government forces’ engagements.

The letter also indicates that recent events in the Cowsweyne attack area show Somali troops’ vulnerability in conflict areas.

The planned withdrawal locations for ATMIS forces include the Somali Presidential Palace and other strategic points across the country.

The government has stated that they do not intend to change the overall ATMIS withdrawal plan for the entire year, but they have requested a 90-day extension for the withdrawal of this 3,000 soldiers.

It remains uncertain how the United Nations will respond to the Somali government’s request, which comes at a time when ATMIS forces had begun the second phase of withdrawal, starting with the significant drawdown of troops from the Biyo Adde region in central Somalia.

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