Small Wars Journal

AFRICOM Commander Sees Recent Signs of Progress in Somalia

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 12:44pm

AFRICOM Commander Sees Recent Signs of Progress in Somalia by Chad Garland - Stars & Stripes

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti — Continued success by the American-backed military campaign in Somalia could set the stage for economic development in the country, which has been wracked by years of lawlessness and violence, U.S. officials said.

In high-level talks in Mogadishu on Tuesday, U.S. Africa Command’s Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser and U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Donald Yamamoto discussed how to keep momentum “moving forward” in the Horn of Africa country, which has been in disarray for more than 20 years.

“We discussed the way ahead and … how we (the United States) can best make a contribution,” Waldhauser told Stars and Stripes. “It’s never a straight line in Somalia. There’s always one step forward, two steps back, but there’s been some fairly good progress in the last few months with regard to taking back some territory al-Shabab had once held.”

The U.S has about 500 troops in the country to help battle the al-Qaida-linked, homegrown terrorist group, which has an estimated 5,000 fighters and has been vying for control of the country for more than a decade…

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