U.S. appeals against withdrawal of AU troops from Somalia, pledges support

The United States has appealed against the downsizing of African Union troops in Somalia fearing escalation of extremist attacks.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) announced last week that following a decision by the AU and UN Security Council to hand over security responsibilities to the Somali Army, a thousand soldiers will be withdrawn from the country by the end of 2017.

The U.S. State Department told East African regional news portal The EastAfrican that the decision calls for concern and they are ready to continue their support for the mission until the time the Somali forces can take over.

“We do not support further drawdown of forces beyond that level at this time, due to ongoing security concerns. The United States supports a conditions-based Amisom drawdown that is tied to the development of capable, professional Somali security forces,” said Wohlers Marion, Foreign Service Officer at the State Department.

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