The UN Security Council is today expected to approve the mandate of the rebranded African Union force which is set to succeed AMISOM tomorrow.
The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) will be taking over from AMISOM on March 31 following its creation jointly by the African Union and Somalia. AMISOM will be ceasing its operations in Somalia 14 years after it was founded.
However, the same forces will remain at ATMIS but will a more defined mandate aimed at preparing for hand over of security responsibilities to Somali Security Forces in 24 months.
African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Bankole Adeoye while on a visit to Somalia early this month sounded upbeat about ATMIS.
“ATMIS is 100 percent aligned with the Somalia Transition Plan. This implies that the strategy of the Government of Somalia and (objective of) ATMIS will be aligned. This is the number one factor that will make a difference,” Ambassador Adeoye stated.
The AU envoy added that the transitional force had the support of the UN and the EU noting it will adequately respond to threats from militant groups.
“This time around, Somalia’s plan is actually front and centre of ATMIS, with the full support of the European Union and the whole gamut of the United Nations,” the AU Commissioner added.
However, critics have argued that a move from AMISOM to ATMIS is just a change of name and may not deliver any better.
Somalia and the African Union signed the agreement in January to form a transitional force which will operate for two years to prepare the ground for a take over by Somali Security Forces.