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Somalia to reject Ethiopian troops to be part of the next multinational force once ATMIS mandate ends

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By: Hassan Adan

MOGADISHU—Somalia’s National Security Advisor, Hussein Sheikh Ali, has confirmed that new troops from Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, and Burundi will be deployed into the country after the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) concludes its operations by the end of December 2024.

Speaking during a discussion on ‘X,’ formerly Twitter Space on Friday, the Security Advisor emphasized that Ethiopian forces will not be part of the upcoming AU-led multinational mission in Somalia once the ATMIS mandate expires.

“Somalia is currently engaged in discussions with international partners regarding the deployment of this multinational force, which is set to be operational in the country for a period of one year, starting [from] January 2025,” Hussein noted. “The specific name and the exact number of troops for the new mission are yet to be finalized,” he added

In a tweet on Saturday, Hussein reiterated: “Our position on ENDF’s role in the post-ATMIS mission is unequivocal. As long as Ethiopia persists in violating our sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence, we cannot and will not consider it an ally in advancing peace and security in the region.”

The announcement comes amidst a significant deterioration in diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and Somalia. This follows Ethiopia’s signing of a maritime pact with the Somaliland administration in January. 

Somali National Security Advisor, Hussein Sheikh Ali in past function. (Courtesy)

The agreement grants Ethiopia sea access and a military base in Somaliland in exchange for potential recognition of the breakaway nation’s long-sought bid for sovereignty.

In response, the Somali government rejected the agreement. In April, Somalia expelled the Ethiopian ambassador, Muqtar Mohamed, and ordered the closure of Ethiopian “consulates” in Somaliland and Puntland.

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