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Ugandan Forces Hand over Barire Base to Somali National Army

Storyline:National News

GOOBJOOG NEWS | BARIRE: As the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) troop drawdown enters its third phase, the Ugandan Army Saturday handed over its forward operating base (FOB) in Bariire, Southwest State, the Somali National Army (SNA).

The ceremony was attended by senior officials from both ATMIS and SNA, Brig. Gen. Anthony Lukwago Mbuusi, ATMIS Uganda Contingent Commander, formally transferred control of the base to Maj. Muhudin Ahmed of the SNA.

The event was overseen by Col. Suleiman Ibrahim, representing the ATMIS Deputy Force Commander for Support and Logistics. Also present were Maj. Bruhan Nsamba, the outgoing ATMIS FOB Commander, and Capt. Abdisalam Jama, the incoming SNA FOB Commander.

The handover aligns with United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2628 (2022), 2670 (2022), and 2710 (2023). These resolutions mandate a reduction of 4,000 ATMIS troops by the end of June 2024.

The first two phases of the drawdown were successfully completed in June 2023 and January 2024, during which ATMIS reduced its troops by 5,000 and handed over 17 FOBs—seven in Phase One and ten in Phase Two.

Brig. Gen. Mbuusi noted that the handover reflects the capability of the SNA to effectively take over security responsibilities in Somalia.

“Today’s handover is a testament to the progress we have made in building the capacity of the Somali National Army. We are confident in their ability to maintain security and stability in this region,” he said.

On his part, Maj. Muhudin Ahmed thanked ATMIS for the training it provided to the Somali Army and stated that the SNA forces are prepared and ready to take over security responsibilities from the African Union peacekeepers.  

“We are ready to ensure the security and protection of our people. The training and support we have received from ATMIS have been invaluable,” he stated.

ATMIS and the Somali government said they remain committed to ensuring a smooth and effective transition, emphasizing collaboration and continuous support to enhance the operational capabilities of the Somali National Army.