Stars and Stripes stripes.com 29 Dec, 2020 19:00 am

As US forces leave, Somalia's elite fighting unit fears becoming a political pawn

As US forces leave, Somalia's elite fighting unit fears becoming a political pawn
The United States has invested billions of dollars in Somalia over the past decade, in part to build and train Danab, the only effective, apolitical fighting unit in the country's war against al-Qaida-affiliated al-Shabab.

troops who trained them leaving Somalia under orders from the Trump administration, current and former Danab officers are fearful that diminished American supervision will leave the elite division vulnerable to political interference from Somalia's government, which is embroiled in a bitterly disputed election scheduled for February." The directive from the Trump administration set a target of troop withdrawal from Somalia by the time Trump leaves office on Jan.NAVY NAIROBI — The United States has invested billions of dollars in Somalia over the past decade, in part to build and train Danab, the only effective, apolitical fighting unit in the country's war against al-Qaida-affiliated al-Shabab." A plan created in 2017 by the United States and other countries with a military presence in Somalia aimed for Somali security forces to be capable of operating without outside help by next year, a goal that many had recognized as unachievable even before the decision to effectively end all in-country training by the Americans.

With elections approaching, feuds have grown and President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed "Farmaajo" has been accused of replacing officials ranging from his prime minister to election administrators to bolster his shot at reelection.The attack took place at a stadium where the current prime minister, a recent appointee of the president's, was to appear for a campaign rally.

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