African Union-backed Amisom troops to start exiting Somalia in 2018

African Union Special Representative to Somalia Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira during a press conference at a Nairobi hotel on November 17, 2016. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Ambassador Francisco Madeira said that the exit strategy depended on the number of trained Somali soldiers to take over from them, credible 2016 elections, and a successful de-radicalization drive among the youth.

  • The troops were deployed to Somalia in 2007 to defend the government against the insurgent Al-Shabaab group affiliated to Al-Qaeda.

The African Union troops serving in Somalia will leave the country starting in 2018. The AU mission has trained at least 20,000 Somali soldiers ahead of the planned exit, the head of the mission has said.

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