An administration official said Trump’s decision was reversed due to an “intensified threat” from insurgents.
US President Joe Biden has agreed to send several hundred troops back to Somalia, reversing a move made in late 2020 by his predecessor Donald Trump, an administration official told reporters during a conference call on Thursday. monday.
Before Trump ordered the troop withdrawal, approximately 700 US military personnel helped Somali authorities fight an Al-Shabaab insurgent group that has ties to Al-Qaeda. According to the Biden administration official, the White House has seen “clear evidence” that Al-Shabaab fighters have the “intent and ability to target Americans in the region,” and have already killed more than a dozen US citizens in East Africa.
For this reason, he explained, the president, following the advice of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, has ordered the reestablishment of a “persistent US military presence in Somalia to enable a more effective fight against Al-Shabaab, which has grown in strength and poses a greater threat.”
The official did not specify the exact number of troops that will be stationed in Somalia, but said it would not exceed 500. He also specified that they would be repositioned from other parts of Africa rather than sent directly from the United States.
The official also criticized the former president’s decision to withdraw troops, saying it was “against the high-level advice of the US military leadership.”
Somalia collapsed into civil war in 1991, when the clans that overthrew the military government of General Mohamed Siad Barre turned on each other. The initial US intervention to protect UN peacekeepers resulted in a clash with one of the warring factions and the Battle of Mogadishu in October 1993. The US left Somalia in March 1995, only to return a decade later as part of the “war on terror.” ‘.
Al-Shabaab, which aims to overthrow the government and impose Sharia law in the country, frequently carries out bomb attacks throughout the country.
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