US President, Donald Trump Orders Withdrawal Of Troops From al-Shabab

The United States President, Donald Trump has ordered the withdrawal of most of US troops from Somalia by 15 January, according to the Pentagon.

The US has about 700 troops in Somalia, helping local forces battle al-Shabab and Islamic State militants.

US officials said some of the troops would move to neighbouring countries, allowing for cross-border operations.

President Trump has issued similar orders in recent months to reduce US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The withdrawal order, which would see troops redeployed just days before Trump leaves office, reverses the policy of former US defence secretary Mark Esper, who favoured maintaining the US presence in Somalia.

According to the Pentagon statement, the order to “reposition the majority of personnel and assets out of Somalia by early 2021” did not signify a change in US policy.

“We will continue to degrade violent extremist organisations that could threaten our homeland while ensuring we maintain our strategic advantage in great power competition,” it stated.

Some experts have warned that a US withdrawal of military could promote militants presence in the Africa region.

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