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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Somalia Requests UN to Postpone Peacekeeping Troop Withdrawal


Sat 23 Sep 2023 | 11:26 PM
Israa Farhan

Somalia has requested the United Nations to postpone the withdrawal of 3,000 peacekeeping troops from the African Union mission by three months.

This extension aims to provide time for Somali forces to reorganize following recent militant attacks that forced them to withdraw from several recently gained territories.

The African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), mandated by the United Nations Security Council, took over the mission from another African Union mission in April last year.

On June 30, AMISOM completed its first phase of troop withdrawal by removing 2,000 soldiers, with the second phase set to reduce its military strength to 14,626 troops by September 30.

In a letter dated September 19, seen by Reuters, National Security Advisor Hussein Sheikh Ali stated that the government's campaign to liberate areas from al-Shabaab militants in central Somalia had suffered "several significant setbacks" in recent weeks.

Ali mentioned that the attack launched by militants on August 26 in the Galmudug region resulted in the withdrawal of government forces from several towns recently captured.

The Somali government has not disclosed the number of casualties in the attack, but a former official cited army officers stating that up to 130 soldiers may have been killed.

The Somali Ministers of Information and Internal Security have not responded to requests for comment.

AMISOM is scheduled to fully withdraw and hand over security responsibilities to the Somali state by the end of 2024, and Ali indicated that Somalia remains committed to this timeline.