Mogadishu(Mogadishu24)-Somalia, in collaboration with its international partners, is laying the groundwork for the introduction of new multinational forces following the scheduled withdrawal of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) in December 2024.

ATMIS has already reduced its troop presence by 6,000, leaving around 15,000 soldiers in the country. The precise number of troops set to replace them and their designation remain undetermined, with negotiations ongoing, according to Hussein Moallim, Somalia’s National Security Advisor.

Estimates suggest that the new force could number between 3,000 to 8,000 personnel, tasked with securing airports, bases for the international community, and the State houses of the Federal Member States in Somalia.

Hussein Sheikh Ali, the National Security Advisor, highlighted that discussions regarding the formation and deployment of these forces are in progress. There’s a possibility that some of the ATMIS troops might be part of this new force. Their primary mission will be to protect critical infrastructure within the capital, though they will not engage in operations against Al-Shabaab.

The planned force, expected to operate in Somalia for a 12-month period based on the security situation, underscores the importance of safeguarding key facilities such as airports. While the force might operate under the banner of the African Union, official confirmation and further details about their deployment are yet to be announced.

This strategic move reflects Somalia’s ongoing efforts to maintain security and stability within its borders while transitioning towards greater self-reliance in defense capabilities. Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Burundi contributed the troops to the African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia.

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