An administration official said Trump’s decision was reversed due to a “heightened threat” from insurgents
According to an official from the administration, Joe Biden, US President, has agreed to send several hundred soldiers back to Somalia. The move reverses a decision made by Donald Trump late in 2020, according to a Monday conference call.
Prior to Trump ordering the withdrawal of troops, approximately 700 US soldiers helped Somalia fight an Al-Shabaab group with links 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 within the region” and have already killed more than a dozen US citizens in east Africa.
Therefore, he explained, the president, following advice from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, has ordered to reestablish a “The US continues to be present in Somalia in order to fight Al-Shabaab’s increasing strength. This has resulted in a stronger and more dangerous force.”
Although the official didn’t specify how many troops would be deployed in Somalia, he said it wouldn’t exceed 500. They would also be sent from America, but they will be moved from Africa.
The official also criticized the former president’s decision to withdraw the troops, saying it was “Against the advice of senior US military leaders.”
Somalia was plunged into civil warfare in 1991 when clans overthrowing General Mohamed Siad Barre’s military government fell out. US forces intervened initially to safeguard UN peacekeepers. However, a conflict with one of the warring groups led to the Battle of Mogadishu which took place 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, an organization that seeks to discredit the government and inflict Sharia rules on the country is known for carrying out frequent bombings throughout the country.