US President Joe Biden has announced the deployment of American special troops to Kenya to help in the region’s counter-terrorism efforts.
In a letter to the US Congress, President Biden said that he had approved sending special operations troops to Kenya, which is expected to collaborate with the Kenyan military in combating Al-Shabaab. The number of troops is not indicated.
The US deployment is expected to be a security boost for Kenya, which has in recent years suffered deadly gun and bomb attacks from Al-Shabaab. The Somalia-based group is known to have sympathizers in Kenya.
Al-Shabaab has been attacking Somali government and military targets but occasionally launches high-profile assaults in neighbouring states, including Kenya. North Eastern Kenya and parts of the Coast have particularly been targeted by the terrorists, but there have previously been high-profile attacks in Nairobi, including at Westgate Mall in 2013 and the DusitD2 Complex in 2019.
Al-Shabaab has publicly declared intent to conduct attacks in retaliation to Kenya’s counter-terrorism operations in Somalia, which it conducts as part of the African Union Mission (Amisom) and may be emboldened following the announced US withdrawal of forces from Somalia last year.
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