U.S. Ground Troops to return to Somalia

U.S. President, Joe Biden has approved the redeployment of U.S. ground troops to troubled Somalia, 18 months after their withdrawal.

Why did they leave before?
Former President Donald Trump had ordered their withdrawal in December 2020. Prior to that, the United States was reported to have had about 700 troops in Somalia, supporting the local forces in the fight against the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab insurgent group.

Perpetual Violence
The country has endured conflict for decades, with no strong central government since the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. It has suffered several attacks by the insurgent group al Shabaab, which seeks to overthrow the government and establish its own rule in Somalia, a rule that is based on the group’s strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

According to officials, Biden has approved not only the ground troops’ redeployment, he has also approved a Pentagon request for a standing authority to target about a dozen suspected leaders of Al Shabab.

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