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U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to draw up plans to withdraw all US troops from Somalia, just three weeks before the November 3 elections, as reported Wednesday by Stars and Stripes newspaper.
Trump discussed with his top advisors, including Defense Secretary Mark Esper and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, the possible reduction of the number of uniforms in the East African nation, the newspaper added.
There are currently some 800 U.S. military and civilian employees in Somalia, including units of the Special Operations Forces. They are there under the pretext of helping the U.S. military fight the al-Shabab terrorist group. However, according to experts, their presence aims to carry out Washington's hegemonic aspirations on the continent.
A communiqué sent to Stars and Stripes by the spokesman for that command, Kelly Cahalan, indicates that "the Africa Command (Africom) remains committed to working with Somali and international partners."
Trump's indication to withdraw troops from Somalia comes weeks before the U.S. elections. Shortly after a statement the president made on Twitter last week, all U.S. forces will leave Afghanistan by December of this year.
The departure from Somalia could complicate the Pentagon's ability to gather intelligence about countries in the area, which in turn could affect its campaign of air strikes against extremists, say experts cited by Stars and Stripes.
The U.S. Department of Defense recently reported that it would withdraw the headquarters of Africom from Germany to the continental United States or another country, provoking a wave of criticism and speculation among legislators and specialists, who questioned the unconsulted decision.
Trump has told top advisers he wants to withdraw U.S. troops from Somalia, adding to previous moves in Afghanistan, Syria and Germany.https://t.co/rpDCkjKA8H