Mogadishu(Mogadishu24)-Several troop Contributing countries from the African Union have raised grave concerns and dissatisfaction with the way the Somali government has handled with the drawdown and its request for a “technical pause” in the troops withdrawal process.

An official who requested anonymity stated that the Somali government had bypassed the appropriate authority in its handling of the matter.

He claimed that the request for a “technical pause” should have been addressed to the AU Peace and Security Council, the body responsible for the deployment of AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces. Instead, it was directed to the UN Security Council, which the official viewed as bypassing the appropriate authority.

“This letter should have been addressed not to the UN Security Council but to the mandated organ which is the AU Peace and Security Council. They are the ones who mandated the deployment of ATMIS forces,” the official said.

The official further stressed that such a request should have been submitted by the Somali Minister of Foreign Affairs or a higher-ranking official, and then the Somali embassy in Addis Ababa could have facilitated the transmission of this request through proper diplomatic channels.

“The request should have been addressed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs or above, and then the Somali embassy in Addis would have transmitted,” he added.

The official said that the Somali government didn’t make the request on time, stating that it was made just few weeks before the drawdown without consulting and coordinating with the relevant stakeholders.

“You don’t wake up few weeks before the drawdown happens, and you don’t even inform the TCCs (Troop Contributing Countries).”

“The AU has a mission in Mogadishu. Why not consult with them before writing that letter?” he added.

He underlined the security consequences of the government’s decision, claiming to benefit the Al-Shabaab militants.

These concerns have arisen at a time when the second phase of the withdrawal of African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) troops began.

The first phase of the drawdown saw the withdrawal of more than 3,000 soldiers from Somalia, and this second phase is the final step in the drawdown process, and will facilitate the complete withdrawal of the remaining ATMIS troops.

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