GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: Withdrawal of US troops from Somalia will adversely harm the country’s recovery efforts and hand the militant group Al-Shabaab a field day, a security expert has warned echoing red signals raised by various security analysts/
Hiraal Institute founder Hussein Maalim told Goobjoog News the announcement by Pentago Friday to ship out all US troops in Somali soil was ill-advised and tantamount to gains made in the fight against extremism and stabilizing the Horn of Africa nation.
“The only people who have really fought Al-Shabaab, and who have fought them with planes and special forces for the last four years, are the United States,” said Maalim. The withdrawal, the former National Security Advisor warned, would put pressure on Somalia in its quest for state rebuilding.
The head of the Mogadishu based think tank also warned that it would be difficult to find a replacement which can match the capacity of the US in fighting against Al-Shabaab and all other extremist elements in the country.
Pentagon announced Friday the 700 troops based in Somalia will be withdrawn and relocated to neighbouring countries. Those remaining will be based in the capital Mogadishu, Pentagon said. The announcement which affirms President Donald Trump’s long-held view of pulling US troops from battlefronts comes barely two months before he leaves office.
US forces have in recent years sustained offensives against Al-Shabaab and ISIS launching airstrikes and occasionally conducting ground operations with Somalia’s elite fighter squad-the Danab.