Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is slated to travel to Kampala on Wednesday to join the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) Heads of State Summit of the Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs). The Summit’s objectives include evaluating achievements in implementing the ATMIS mandate and, reviewing the drawdown plan, adhering to United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 26/70 (2022) and 26/28.
Technical officials from TCCs, comprising Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, have initiated preparatory meetings for the Summit. The event follows President Mohamud’s request for Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to host an extraordinary summit during the United States Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC in December 2022.
Ambassador Julius Kivuna, Head of the Ugandan Delegation and Regional Peace and Security Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, welcomed delegates at the Serena Conference Hotel in Kampala. He urged experts to discuss candidly and propose viable recommendations for ATMIS strategic leaders to facilitate a smooth and peaceful drawdown of ATMIS troops.
Kivuna expressed gratitude to the TCCs, Somalia, and ATMIS Partners for their support, sacrifice, and spirit of brotherhood in fostering peace, security, and stability in Somalia and the region. Achievements such as saving lives, enhancing infrastructure, and boosting social services have significantly impacted the lives and livelihoods of the Somali people.
The Heads of State Summit was preceded by meetings of the Chief of Defence Forces, Permanent Secretaries, and the Ministerial Session of the ATMIS TCCs and Somalia on April 25th and 26th, 2023. ATMIS TCCs and Development Partners, including the UN, AU, UK, US, EU, IGAD, and the EAC Secretariat, are expected to attend both the Ministerial Session and the Summit.
Since 2007, at least 3,500 AU soldiers have been killed in Somalia, with thousands more injured. ATMIS currently has around 19,000 peacekeepers operating in the country. The African Union plans to withdraw from Somalia by December 2024 after Somali forces assume security responsibilities. The Summit’s outcomes will play a crucial role in determining the future of peacekeeping efforts and the region’s stability.