Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
Electronics | By Lorenzo Hawkins

US Sends Dozens of Troops to Somalia, 1st Time in Decades

US Sends Dozens of Troops to Somalia, 1st Time in Decades

The United States military on Friday confirmed that it will deploy troops to Somalia in the fight against insurgent group, Al-Shabaab.

The US military has dispatched dozens of troops to Somalia on a mission allegedly aimed at training the African country's forces to confront terrorist groups. Even now, Somalia's fragile central government is struggling to assert itself after the nationwide chaos that began with the fall of dictator Siad Barre in 1991. We say to the leadership of al-Shabab that you have been fighting for more than 10 years and still you can not overthrow the government, which has global support and military power. About 40 troops are taking part. It includes carrying out more aggressive airstrikes against al-Shabab.

Somalia's new President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo is inviting al-Qaida-affiliated Al-Shabaab fighters to the table of negotiation to end years of deadly insurgency in the famine-stricken nation.

The move is another example of the acceleration of USA efforts to help combat violent extremism across the globe, a second military official said.

Al-Shabab's statements come after Somalia's new military chief survived a suicide vehicle bomb attack Sunday following his swearing-in with a mandate to launch a new offensive against the Islamic extremists. A day later, a suicide bombing at a military academy in Mogadishu killed at least five soldiers.

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Mohamed's election in February and Trump's taking power in January have brought the new military efforts against al-Shabab, which was chased out of Mogadishu several years ago by national and African Union multinational forces but still controls some rural areas.

Despite inflicting military setbacks and territory loss upon al-Shabab, the militants continue to create chaos in the country, as fears grow that al-Shabab and Islamic State are too much for the country to handle.

Somalia's fragile central government is still propped up by the global community and a 22,000-strong African Union peacekeeping force after almost three decades of civil war and anarchy. Last month, the head of the AU mission said Somalia's army has been unable to take charge as expected.

The troop deployment comes after President Donald Trump granted US Africa Command additional authority when conducting air strikes against al Shabaab, though Africa Command made it clear there was no tie between the recent troop deployment and Trump's granting of authority.

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