By John Ikani
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has welcomed the redeployment of US forces in Somalia where al-Shabab attacks had heightened due to a prolonged electoral crisis.
US President Joe Biden’s administration announced on Monday plans to send about 600 American forces to support targeted operations against al-Shabab militants.
This came a day after Somali MPs elected Mr Mohamud for a second term in a tense vote that ended the country’s transition crisis.
“The US has always been a reliable partner in our quest to stability and fight against terrorism,” a statement posted on the official Twitter account of the Somali presidency said.
Mr Biden’s predecessor withdrew 700 US forces who had been supporting the Somali National Army (SNA) through training and carrying out air strikes against al-Qaeda-affiliated militants.
An opinion article in the pro-government Puntland Post said the US decision undermined security reforms that had been undertaken by President Mohamud’s predecessor.
Al-Shabab has not yet reacted to the US announcement but has profiled the incoming Somali leader as a “puppet”.