President Trump on Friday ordered almost all American troops to be withdrawn from Somalia, following similar reductions in U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Pentagon announced that the majority of the approximately 700 troops in Somalia will leave the area by January 15. Many are expected to be relocated to neighboring Kenya.
“The President of the United States has ordered the Department of Defense and the United States Africa Command to reposition the majority of personnel and assets out of Somalia by early 2021,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
The Defense Department stressed that the move does not represent a change in U.S. policy in Africa, however.
“The U.S. is not withdrawing or disengaging from Africa,” the Pentagon said. “We remain committed to our African partners and enduring support through a whole-of-government approach.”