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May 4, 2021

Somalia 3 months down the line

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When President Donald Trump ordered roughly 700 U.S. troops to withdraw from Somalia late last year, it decreased the American footprint there. “There’s no denying that the repositioning of forces out of Somalia has introduced new layers of complexity and risk,” Army. Gen. Stephen Townsend, AFRICOM’s boss, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Our understanding of what’s happening in Somalia is less now than it was when we were there on the ground, physically located with our partners,” he told the senators.

This is without a doubt true seeing as the number of competent security personnel in the country was greatly reduced with the withdrawal of the 700 American soldiers. Besides training and equipping the Somali National Army [SNA], the US Africa Command troops were responsible for giving aerial assistance to combat troops. They were launching airstrikes that had substantially weakened the militants. General Stephen Townsend, told the Senate that the move has created a lot of challenges, adding that pursuing Al-Shabaab militants has become a little bit difficult.

In response the African Union Mission Forces [AMISOM] have intensified crackdowns against the Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia, targeting some of the supply routes which have been blocked by the Al-Qaeda linked group in the country. Their efforts have borne fruit resulting in the rescue of several towns and villages in the North of Mogadishu where the militants have been carrying out attacks against civil servants, government officials, and security forces. AMISOM has been working hand in hand with the Somali National Army offering necessary support before their impending withdrawal from Somalia.

The current political dysfunction that exists between the federal government of Somalia, and the federal member states, the extra-constitutional extension of the president’s term in office has brought about recent conflicts within Somalia and borne harsh retorts against the Farmajo government. This is seen as a significant threat to the anti-terrorism efforts made by AMISOM and might give room for jihadist resurgence.

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