Top U.S. military officials and Senior commanders with the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) on Friday discussed the security situation in Somalia ahead of the exit of AU forces in Somalia.
In a statement, Atmis said ATMIS Force Commander Lt. Gen. Sam Okiding, Deputy Force Commander in charge of Support and Logistics Maj. Gen. Peter Kimani Muteti and other senior ATMIS military officers met with Lt. Gen. Jonathan Braga, Commander of the US Army Special Operations Command and Rear Admiral Jamie Sands, the US Navy Commander of Special Operations Command Africa at ATMIS force headquarters in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The ATMIS Force Commander said the closed-door discussions focused on support to the Federal Government of Somalia to ensure security and stability as ATMIS forces gradually wind down and hand over security responsibilities.
“The U.S. is one of our international partners. They have also injected a lot of resources into this mission, and we have discussed salient issues,” said Lt. Gen. Okiding after the meeting.
“We are in the transition process, so as ATM exits, we should be proud of our brothers and sisters who remain behind to take charge of their country’s security. That is our hope and prayer,” he added.
Rear Admiral Jamie Sands said the meeting was an opportunity to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to the partnership with ATMIS and support for Somalia in the fight against Al-Shabaab.
“We talked about common challenges, and common purpose. We looked at different assets we can use. We also discussed the way ahead for Somalia support, the success of the support from ATMIS to Somalia over the last decade and reaffirmed our commitment to one another,” said Rear Admiral Sands.
The United States has over the years provided security assistance including logistical, and financial support to the African Union peacekeeping operations in Somalia.