In a recent development, Somalia’s national security adviser has formally requested a 90-day delay in the second phase of troop withdrawal by the African Union Transition in Somalia (ATMIS). This request aims to postpone the departure of 3,000 troops, initially scheduled for the end of September.

Moreover, this request holds significant implications for the security situation in Somalia and the broader Horn of Africa region.

This analysis delves into the reasons behind Somalia’s request, its challenges in achieving full security control, and the potential consequences of delaying the troop withdrawal.

The Request for a Delay

The Federal Government of Somalia’s request for a delay in the troop withdrawal, as reported last week, reflects the country’s complex security situation.

Previously, the United Nations resolutions had set a deadline for the complete withdrawal of ATMIS forces, established in April of the previous year, by the end of the following year, entrusting security responsibilities entirely to the national army and police. However, achieving this goal has proven to be exceptionally challenging due to ongoing threats posed by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab insurgency.