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May 27, 2022

Biden deals Al Shabaab big blow

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American president Joe Biden redeployed 500 U.S military troops to Somalia, this is after former president Donald Trump had withdrawn the same amount of troops from the Horn of Africa country in the last weeks of his presidency. This withdrawal of American troops that had been stationed in Somalia was seen as irrational by senior members of Trump’s administration. The Pentagon proposed to redeploy the troops some months ago, and Biden is reported to have approved the decision earlier this month.

The troops are set to work hand in hand with the AU Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), which earlier in the year replaced AMISOM. The mandate of ATMIS is to ensure the transfer of responsibility of security from ATIMS to the Somali security forces by the year 2024. The Somali government under its new leader Hassan Sheikh Muhamud has welcomed this move by the U.S leader with one of his senior advisors terming the earlier decision to withdraw troops as hasty.

The troops will be helpful to the Somali government as they will help in the training of Somali commandos as it has done in the past, giving them specialised tactics that will improve their strategies in dealing with the terrorists and the various threats facing the Somali people. The U.S troops will also empower the Somali commandos with better and modern weapons which will be useful in their counterterrorism efforts, all this further boosting the capacity of Somali forces to disrupt Al Shabaab sufficiently so the group is unable to plot attacks against the Somali people and other countries in the region.

It has been a turbulent year for the Somali people due to the ongoing drought in the country, this has been made worse by the Al Shabaab stealing aid food from aid organisations and redistributing it in line with their aims and propaganda leaving many Somalis vulnerable. The deployed troops will aid in the security of organisations such as USAID which is cushioning affected Somalis from one of their worst droughts in recent times

The troops will also be involved in Civil-Military Cooperation activities like equipping the local people with vital infrastructure such as boreholes, schools and hospitals, these amenities will help the local populations  long after the Al Shabaab has been defeated and enable the people to chart a better and more prosperous path for their futures through the availability of education, better health care other basic needs

All this will help build capacity for the Somalia military and also for the new Somali government, ultimately helping in diminishing Al Shabaab capabilities which will even further pave the way for a more prosperous Somalia. Ensuring that even after the threat of Al Shabaab has been eliminated that the country can be stable and safe.