U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley, commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), visited foreign partners in Mogadishu, Somalia, Aug. 3, 2022, to hand over 24 Puma Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) at the ATMIS Headquarters. The donation from the U.S. will help increase ATMIS capabilities in the fight against terrorism and those who seek to undermine the security and stability of Somalia. The U.S. is committed to supporting Somalia’s efforts to defeat Al-Shabaab and remains partnered with Djibouti to counter terrorist threats in the Horn of Africa. The APC’s will help protect military partners against rifle fire, anti-tank mines and homemade explosives. The U.S. aims to help Somalis defend themselves and reduce the threat posed by Somalia-based global terrorist networks.
Larry André, U.S. Ambassador to Somalia said,”The delivery of the 24 APCs will enhance Somalia’s fight against violent extremists. This equipment will increase the ability of the Djiboutian contingent of ATMIS to protect Somalis from Al-Shabaab violence and extortion.This is in line with the plans of His Excellency President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud and is keeping with the Somalia Transition Plan, which will see a steady increase in handover responsibilities to Somalia’s security forces. The expression of our support, amongst other ways, is the donation of these vehicles to help protect African Union forces, in this case Djibouti’s military contingent, as they travel the roads of Somalia which too often will be trapped by dangerous explosive devices put there to harm those who only seek to help Somalia”
“To support ATMIS Djiboutian contingency’s efforts in the fight against terrorism with our Somali partners, the United States is providing the 24 PUMA Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) and Harris Radio communication equipment to enable more frequent patrols, and transportation.” Shawley said.
“On behalf of the African Union, it’s membership, and all of the ATMIS Troop Contributing Countries, including Djibouti and all the others since ATMIS is a collective effort of solidarity and support to the Somalia people, I would like to thank the government and the people of the United States for the generosity and steadfastness in supporting our presence in Somalia,” said Fiona Lortan, Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, in a Garowe Online article.
Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) is a joint task force of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM). It originated under Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa (OEF-HOA) as part of the United States response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. The mission of the CJTF-HOA is to conduct operations in the Combined Joint Operations Area to enhance partner nation capacity, promote regional security and stability, dissuade conflict, and protect U.S. and coalition interests. CJTF-HOA consists of about 2,000 servicemen and women from the United States military and allied countries. Currently, the task force has an assigned area of interest that includes Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Seychelles and Kenya. Outside this Combined Joint Operating Area, the CJTF-HOA has operations in Mauritius, Comoros, Liberia, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. CJTF-HOA operations are encompassed by what the U.S. military has termed the ‘indirect approach’.