On Friday, President Donald Trump ordered the departure of almost all American troops from Somalia. According to the Pentagon, the number of American military personnel in the African country must be significantly reduced by 15 January. Recently, Trump has already taken over a large part of the troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.
This makes Trump seem to be fulfilling an election promise shortly before he left the White House, namely the recovery of American military personnel. According to Trump, foreign operations are expensive and ineffective.
The 700 or so American soldiers are helping Somalia in the fight against al Shabaab, an al Qaeda-affiliated organization.
The army will post a large proportion of the military in neighboring countries. Some of it remains in the Somali capital Mogadishu. Former Defense Minister Mark Esper, who was fired by Trump on November 9, was strongly in favor of an American force in Somalia.
Experts fear that the withdrawal of American troops from the country will destabilize the area and allow militias in the Horn of Africa to grow. BBC News reports that officials warned a month ago that Somali troops are not self-sufficient to resist violent groups.
It is not exactly clear how many soldiers will leave Somalia. About 5,000 soldiers leave Afghanistan. Iraq is seeing the number of American troops present in the region plummet by 1500.