US President Donald Trump has ordered the removal of American soldiers from Somalia by early 2021.
According to the Pentagon, nearly 700 US troops are currently deployed in Somalia. Their responsibilities include conducting training with local forces – including elite Danab Special Forces – and assisting in their fight against al-Qaeda-linked militant group al-Shabab in counter-terrorism missions.
The Pentagon statement on Friday added that the United States is not “withdrawing” or “disengaging” from Africa and that some forces may be reassigned outside of East Africa.
He said the United States instead “will maintain the ability to conduct targeted operations against terrorism in Somalia, and will collect early warnings and indicators regarding threats to the homeland.”
Trump had recently ordered similar troop withdrawals from Germany, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The troop cut from Somalia is the latest in a planned global withdrawal of US personnel before Trump leaves office in January.