The United States military has completed the redeployment of troops from Somalia to elsewhere in East Africa according to the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). AFRICOM spokesperson Colonel Christopher P. Karns, in a statement to the media, said that the repositioning of the troops, ordered by the president in December was completed ahead of the deadline.
Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of AFRICOM, said that, “no serious injuries or significant loss of equipment, despite significant efforts to target us by al-Shabab” occurred during the operation to shift the U.S. personnel from Somalia.
With a national election looming in Somalia in less than a month, many analysts believe that President Trump’s order to remove the American troops from the country couldn’t come at a worse time. The African Union will also be withdrawing its 17,000 peacekeeping troops beginning in February.
Somalia has been wracked by civil war since 1991, but the entry of the peacekeeping force in 2008 helped the fledgling national government.