Mogdadishu(Mogadishu24)-The President of the Federal Government of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, commended the vital role played by ATMIS during its 16-year mission in Somalia on Wednesday night.

During a public engagement session called ‘Minbar,’ where the president answered several questions, he addressed Somalia’s efforts in the fight against Al-Shabaab, ATMIS’ withdrawal, and achievements in debt relief and admission to the East African Community.

He expressed confidence that Somalia would make progress in maintaining its own security responsibilities.

“ATMIS troops have been with us for over 16 years and played an important role in shaping our security situation. Many soldiers from contributing countries that have no interest in Somalia died just to help us regain our stability. We will forever be grateful to these brave forces,” President Mohamud said.

He added, “I have full confidence that my security will be protected by our Somali forces, and I am honoured and privileged to be the first Somali President whose security is fully protected by the Somali National Army since the collapse of the country and after the Arta peace conference.”

President Mohamud emphasized that the Somali people need to collaboratively solve their own problems and differences.

He stated that Somalis will not need mediation, a role previously played by ATMIS and other international partners, to solve any political and social dispute.

“Somalia doesn’t need mediation to solve its problems now; we need to solve our problems. Since 1992, the international community has been with us and provided us with support, but the solution does not lie with foreign countries; now we need the solution for our challenges,” he stated.

“We are once required to build a functional government, not our international partners. The sole responsibility lies with us, which we have already demonstrated and achieved. Insha Allah, we will not need any foreign intervention for our issues,” he added.

The ATMIS troops have been in Somalia since 2007, formed after the emergence of the Al-Shabaab terrorist group, which has been a threat to security in Somalia and its neighbouring countries.

The second phase of the drawdown was delayed for three months after the federal government requested a 90-day technical pause.

Earlier this year, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2687 issued the withdrawal of ATMIS troops from Somalia, which will be completed by December 2024.

This is the third public question-and-answer engagement with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud since his re-election. He earlier held a similar program answering questions on Somalia’s efforts in its fight against terrorism and the progress made after one year.

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