WASHINGTON (Somaliguardian) – President Donald Trump told his advisors of his plans to withdraw US troops from Somalia, allowing to make good on campaign pledges to bring soldiers home even though the country remains overwhelmed by Al-Qaeda-linked militant group, Bloomberg has reported.
The Pentagon has begun formulating plans for the president, and discussions have involved National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, according to people who would speak only on the condition of anonymity to US media.
The US has nearly 1000 troops in Somalia, according to the US Africa Command, including special forces who are helping train Somalia’s army. Most of these troops were sent during Trump’s presidency to lead joint African and Somali operations aimed to dislodge Al-Shabaab armed group that controls large swathes of territory in the Horn of Africa nation.
Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo said in an interview that he would like US forces to stay, adding that he believes his country, with US assistance could defeat Al-Shabaab group.
“We really appreciate the U.S. support, and we are grateful for what the U.S. has done, and we would like to see the troops remain until the work is 100% accomplished,” Abdullahi said in a phone interview with Bloomberg.
Trump’s desire to pull out troops from Somalia has provoked unease internally from officials who warn that it could create a vacuum for the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab to fill. The group continues to carry out deadly attacks in the eastern African country despite being the target of frequent US drone strikes and the Somali government retains a fragile grip on power.
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