Kenyan media reported on December 20 that according to an order issued by US President Trump earlier this month, about 700 US troops stationed in Somalia will be withdrawn before January 20, 2021, part of which will be transferred to other East Africa countries including Kenya and the rest will completely leave the African continent.
As reported, the USS Herschel Woody Williams is currently conducting maritime operations off the coast of Somalia to re-position the United States. Some of the US military personnel and assets will be transferred to a military base shared by the Kenya Defense Forces and the US military in Manda Bay, Lamu, Kenya, and the others will be transferred to a US military base in Djibouti.
Admiral Stephen Townsend, commander of the U.S. African Command, visited Kenya and Djibouti from December 14th to 17th, expressing to the leaders of the two countries that the United States would continue to cooperate with African partners. Townsend said that although the layout of the US military in East Africa is undergoing changes, the mission and commitments of the US military have not changed; the US military will continue to pressure 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, stated that the withdrawal mission will be carried out quickly and methodically. If extremist organizations choose to attack at this time, they will receive a swift response and continued pressure.
It is reported that the United States has withdrawn some troops from the Bosasso and Galkayo in Somalia earlier this year. On December 18, a suicide bombing attack occurred outside the Galcayo Stadium, killing at least 17 people. As of November, the US military remained in the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, the port city of Kismayo, and the Baledogle air base 96 kilometers northwest of Mogadishu.