Joe Biden approuve le rétablissement d’une présence militaire américaine en Somalie

Joe Biden approuve le rétablissement d’une présence militaire américaine en Somalie

United States President Joe Biden has approved the reestablishment of an American military presence in Somalia to fight Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab, a senior US government official announced on Monday (May 16th).

Eighteen months after the withdrawal of the 750 American soldiers who were deployed in this country in the Horn of Africa, ordered at the end of his mandate by Donald Trump, “less than 500” US special forces soldiers will again be stationed in Somalia, said the official who requested anonymity. He did not provide information as to their arrival date.

Mr Biden “approved a request from the Ministry of Defence” moving in this direction, the senior official told the press. “The President took this decision to increase the safety and effectiveness of our special forces, who have spent more than a year since the previous administration’s decision to enter and exit Somalia sporadically to facilitate operations there. counter-terrorism »he added.

In December 2020, Mr. Trump had ordered the withdrawal of American troops from Somalia, allowing only missions on a rotational basis. However, these comings and goings represented a risk for American soldiers and wasted their time, forcing them to transport their equipment at the start of each rotation and to send it back at the end of the mission.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Somalia plagued by violence and tensions one month before elections

More than a year of political crisis

The US official suggested that Mr Biden’s decision had more to do with the security of US forces than with Sunday’s election of a new Somali president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud. The latter, who was president between 2012 and 2017, won against the outgoing head of state, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known as Farmaajo, who had beaten him five years ago.

The support of the Somali leaders for cooperation with the United States in the fight against the Islamists has been ” constant “ in recent years, explained the American official. “We have successfully cooperated with the Somalis” despite changes in government “and we are confident that we will continue to do so with the new administration”. The decision to re-establish a US military presence “rationalises the irrational device we have inherited”he added. “It was irrational, because it created an unnecessary and high risk for American forces every time they entered and left the country”he explained.

He did not specify which soldiers would be sent, but the sources said that the troops sent to Somalia so far belong to the American special forces, and that they were already positioned in neighboring countries. This deployment would not change the American military posture in East Africa.

“The objective is to enable a more effective fight by local forces against the Al-Shabaab (…) who have strengthened themselves and represent a threat”said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

No direct combat operations

The international community on Monday welcomed the election of Hassan Cheikh Mohamoud, 66, calling on him to take charge of the problems of this poor and unstable country. This election, which was initially to be held no later than February 2021, puts an end to more than a year of procrastination and political crisis around the organization of the ballot in this country bruised by the insurrection of the Chabab jihadists and threatened by starvation due to a drought of historic proportions.

According to the international community and analysts, these political tensions have benefited the Shabab, who have been leading an insurrection in the country for fifteen years. They have intensified their attacks in recent months, in particular carrying out a double attack in the center of the country on March 23 (forty-eight dead), then a major assault against a base of the African Union force on March 3 May (ten dead according to an official report).

“I want to remind you that these forces have been and will continue to be used to train, advise and equip partner forces [somaliennes]in order to give them the means they need to disorganize, weaken and monitor the Al-Shabaab”Mr. Kirby told reporters. “Our forces are not currently engaged directly in combat operations and they will not be in the future”he said.

The World with AFP

#Joe #Biden #approuve #rétablissement #dune #présence #militaire #américaine #Somalie

This will close in 0 seconds