Kenyan media reported on December 20 that according to the instructions issued by US President Trump earlier this month, about 700 U.S. troops in Somalia will withdraw from Somalia by January 20, 2021, part to other East African countries, including Kenya, and part completely leave the African continent.
It is reported that the U.S. Navy’s expeditionary base ship “Hschel Woody Williams” is currently performing maritime operations off the coast of Somalia to “reposition” the United States.
Some U.S. military personnel and assets will be transferred to a shared military base shared by the Kenya National Defense Forces and the U.S. military in Manda Bay, Lamu, Kenya, and some will be transferred to the U.S. military base in Djibouti.
Admiral Stephen Townsend, the commander of the U.S. Army Africa Command, visited Kenya and Djibouti from December 14 to 17 to express the leaders of the two countries’ commitment to continue to cooperate with African partners.
Townsend said that although the layout of the U.S. military in East Africa is changing, the mission and commitment of the U.S. military have not changed; the U.S. military will continue to put pressure on extremist organizations and work with African partners to enhance security and stability in the region. Major General Dagwen Anderson, the commander of the withdrawal mission, said that the withdrawal mission would be carried out quickly and in a manner, and if extremist groups choose to attack at this time, they would receive a rapid response and continuous pressure.
According to the report, the United States withdrew some troops from the Bosasso and Galkayo areas of Somalia earlier this year. On December 18, a suicide bombing occurred outside the Galcayo Stadium, killing at least 17 people.
As of November, the U.S. military remained in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, the port city of Kismaayo, and Balledogle Air Force Base, 96 kilometers northwest of Mogadishu.