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U.S. to withdraw troops from Somalia

Dec 7, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — The president of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, has ordered for the withdrawal of troops from Somalia.

US President Donald J. Trump speaking in a past press briefing (Photo Credit: Reuters)
US President Donald J. Trump speaking in a past press briefing (Photo Credit: Reuters)

In a statement released by the US Department of Defense on Friday, the US President Donald Trump is said to have ordered the Pentagon and the U.S. Africa Command to “reposition the majority of personnel and assets out of Somalia by early 2021.”

This announcement came exactly a week after acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller made a surprise visit to Somalia and honored US military personnel for their efforts in helping the East African country combat local al-Shabaab militants.

The Department of Defence noted that, despite the pullout, the US is not “withdrawing or disengaging from Africa” adding that it remains committed to its African partners and enduring support through a whole-of-government approach.

The statement insinuated that the change may result in some US forces being moved outside of East Africa

According to president Trump, the remaining troops will be repositioned from Somalia into neighboring countries to assist in cross-border operations by both US and partner forces  to maintain pressure against violent extremist organizations operating in Somalia.

DoD emphasized the US will continue to possess the capability to conduct targeted counterterrorism operations in Somalia.

Somalia has raised concerns about the withdrawals and has warned Washington not to withdraw rapidly. 

“It would create a vacuum. The Somali security forces have good morale because of the US troops … there’s the possibility of air support if they are attacked, they can have medevacs,” Somali Colonel Ahmed Abdullahi Sheikh said in an interview. 

The Defense Secretary Christopher Miller had paid a visit to Somalia on November 27, the first such visit by a US defense secretary where he spent Thanksgiving with the US military in the country.

“Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller celebrated Thanksgiving with US military personnel and contractors at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti and in Mogadishu, Somalia,” the Pentagon release on his unannounced visit read.

“He recognized their commitment to the mission and relayed his gratitude for the sacrifices they and their families make to protect the freedoms we enjoy and the American way of life.”

Currently, there are around 700 US military soldiers stationed in Somalia to assist the East African nation with its fight against al-Shabaab.

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