The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) has completed phase 2 of its withdrawal from Somalia. ATMIS announced they were withdrawing 3,000 troops and handing 7 military bases to the Somali military, while closing two others.
“The drawdown of 3,000 troops and handover of the seven military bases which conclude Bio Cadale, Raga Ceel, Parliament, State House, Qorillow, Burahache, and Kismayo Old Airport ENDF mark a watershed moment in the ongoing Somalia security transition process” -ATMIS
ATMIS has stated that the continued withdrawals are a sign of Somalia’s continued progress towards stability, as they make gains politically, economically, and militarily. ATMIS carried out the first phase of their withdrawal last year, when they withdrew 2,000 troops.
They have further announced that, if progress continues as they expect it to, the third phase will be carried out by June 30th, with the further withdrawal of 4,000 troops.
The AU has expressed support for the Somalia Security Development Plan, which was approved by an assortment of international entities including the UN, AU, and EU. The plan is to take place over six years, and will see Somalia take full control over its security sector.
Somalia in recent months has made significant gains against Al-Shabaab, an Islamic militant group that has become the main armed group at war with the Somali government, in joint operations with the US.
Politically, the nations recent gains in stability have resulted in Somalia joining the East African Community (EAC), an East African bloc which represents significant political and economic potential for Somalia. Similarly, the new signs of stability have seen the UN’s arms embargo on Somalia lifted, providing a great opportunity for Somalia to equip itself in order to keep improving their security situation.
In order to assist with Somalia’s economic recovery, several international lenders have moved to forgive the majority of Somalia’s debt. As such, Somalia’s debt has gone from 5.2 billion, approximately 68% of Somalia’s 2021 GDP, to 600 million, approximately 9% of Somalia’s 2021 GDP.