The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) says it is consulting with the Somali government and partners to start handing over military bases to local security forces as part of a transitional plan.
Francisco Madeira, special representative of the chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, said the mission was now moving into critical stages of the implementation of the Somali Transition Plan of gradually transferring security responsibilities to Somali security forces.
"In the coming months, AMISOM in consultation with the Federal Government of Somalia and partners will be transferring Forward Operating Bases to the Somali security forces. This is in the spirit of the Somali Transitional Plan," Madeira said in a statement issued on Wednesday evening.
Speaking during a hand-over ceremony of six specially-designed refrigerated containers, Madeira reiterated the critical importance of having a well-funded, well-resourced and adequately-supplied Somali security forces.
The AU mission donated the six containers to the Somali security forces to help enhance their capacity as they intensify operations to liberate the country from militants.
Madeira congratulated the Somali security forces for their role in liberating Bariire town in the Lower Shabelle region, saying AMISOM would continue to motivate and support the Somali security forces.
Four of the donated containers went to the Somali National Army and two were received by the Somali Police Force.
Al-Shabab extremists, who control large parts of Somalia's southern and central regions, continue to carry out high-profile attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere, targeting military bases manned by AU troops and Somali security forces.
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