Biden warns of situation in Somalia as leaders convene for meeting
WASHINGTON, USA - US President Joe Biden has written to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President of the Senate over the current situation in Somalia, a country that has struggled with insecurity for the last three decades, following the ouster of Siad Barre.
The US is one of the international partners who have been assisting the country for decades now, including training of the elite Danab troops, who are actively involved in the fight against Al-Shabaab militants, who control large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia.
In compliance with Section 202(d) of National Emergencies Act, Biden said, "I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13536 of April 12, 2010, with respect to Somalia is to continue in effect beyond April 12, 2021."
"The situation with respect to Somalia continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13536 with respect to Somalia," he added.
In January, former US President Donald Trump withdrew all the US Africa Command troops who have been assisting the Somali National Army. The troops, Department of Defense said, were stationed elsewhere in East Africa.
The US has earmarked Al-Shabaab as a dangerous force in East Africa, and even dedicated resources in fighting the militants. Besides training the Somali army, the US Africa Command is responsible for giving aerial assistance to the combat troops, especially those from the AMISOM and SNA.
Elsewhere, outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo Saturday arrived at the Afisiyooni within Mogadishu where he is set to meet all the five regional presidents. For over three weeks, Said Abdullahi Deni of Puntland and Ahmed Madobe of Jubaland have been camping there, but haven't met any representative from FGS.
The leaders are set to discuss the current political stalemate in Somalia which has seen politicians go ballistic against one another. The opposition accuses FGS of deliberately dragging elections in the country given the fact that the term of the current administration expired on Feb 8.