Kenya and U.S. Discuss Security in Somalia Amid UN Peacekeeping Mission Withdrawal

Kenya’s Defence Secretary, Aden Duale, met with Michael Hammer, the United States Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa (SEHOAUS), on Thursday evening to discuss security arrangements in Somalia after the peacekeeping forces withdraw.

Duale said the meeting focused on maintaining peace and security in Somalia. The country is committed to peacekeeping and counterterrorism efforts.

The meeting followed Somalia’s surprising request to have the United Nations peacekeeping mission, UNSOM, leave the country by October 2024.

In a letter dated May 5, 2023, Somalia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed gratitude for the UN’s efforts but said they were ready to transition to a new phase of cooperation.

Somalia’s decision to withdraw the forces caught the UN by surprise, as earlier, Somalia had requested an extension for the forces to stay.

Now, Somalia wants the mission to end as quickly as possible. They requested the termination of the mission by October 2024.

Kenya had previously announced that they would withdraw their forces by the end of 2024.

The withdrawal of forces has raised concerns about increased insecurity in the East African region. However, Somalia believes it can manage its own security.

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