Kismayo(Mogadishu24)-The Jubaland State has voiced grave concerns about the hasty and unplanned withdrawal of the African Transition Mission (ATMIS) forces in Somalia, highlighting the potential risks it poses to regional security. In a recent statement, Vice President Mohamed Sayid Adan expressed apprehension that the departure of ATMIS forces would create an opportunity for Al-Shabaab militants to launch frequent attacks and seize control of the former military bases.

The local population, who had long relied on the presence of ATMIS forces for security, now find themselves facing an alarming security threat. Al-Shabaab has wasted no time in launching retaliatory actions against individuals who opposed their activities, compounding the fears expressed by Vice President Adan.

“ It should have stopped, we repeatedly raised our concerns during discussions, urging that the withdrawal be halted. But, the ATMIS forces are determined to leave the country as planned, and the previous government played a part in this decision,” stated Mohamed Sayid Adan, Juballand’s Vice President.

He further disclosed that neither the forces of Jubbaland nor those of the federal government are adequately prepared to assume control over the vacated ATMIS bases. Despite the challenges ahead, he emphasized the urgent need for concerted efforts to manage the security situation within Jubbaland effectively.

Jubbaland has long relied on the presence of ATMIS forces to combat Al-Shabaab. Kenyan troops have been stationed in Jubbaland, primarily operating in the Lower Juba region, while Ethiopian troops have been deployed in the Gedo region. As part of the withdrawal process, the Kenyan army recently handed over two bases in Jubbaland, which were previously occupied by ATMIS forces, to the administration of Jubbaland.

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