African Union pays tributes to peacekeeping troops in Somalia The African Union has paid tributes to peace-keeping troops in Somalia for what it called their sacrifice in ensuring lasting peace and stability in the country.
In a statement marking the first anniversary of the reconfigured mission known as African Transition Mission in Somalia, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, also praised the ‘’unwavering determination’’ of the troop-contributing countries.
The mission consists of around 20,000 troops from several African countries including Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Some of the soldiers have been killed in fighting against armed groups.
Their mandate focuses on degrading the militant groups including Al Shabab, strengthening the capacity of the Somali government forces to be able to take the country’s security responsibility as well as fostering reconciliation.
Al Shabab has been fighting to take control of the country carrying out frequent attacks on official targets including the military.
The African Union says it will continue to ‘’work closely’’ with government and people of Somalia in their ‘’legitimate quest'' for lasting peace and stability.
“We wish to recognize and honour the service of African Union troops, many of whom have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the gallant mission to restore peace and security,” the Chairperson of the African Union Commission said.
The current African Union peacekeeping mission is expected to end in December 2024 with gradual withdrawal beginning from June this year.
The ATMIS mission is a reconfiguration of the African Union Mission to Somalia, AMISOM, that was in the country for more than a decade until last year.