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Kerry Told Kenya Plans to Start Withdrawal From Somalia in 2018

  • Kenyan president discusses plans with U.S. secretary of state
  • Progress in security hailed as Somalia prepares for elections

Kenya and other East African nations will begin withdrawing their troops from Somalia in 2018 because of improved security in a country that’s been ravaged by civil war for more than two decades, President Uhuru Kenyatta told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Somalia’s army and the African Union mission, known as Amisom, have registered “remarkable progress” in their battle with al-Qaeda-linked militants, Kenyatta told Kerry during Monday’s meeting in the capital, Nairobi, according to an e-mailed statement from the presidency. With a gradual pullout of troops planned for two years’ time, Kenyatta said it was important to build the capacity of the national military to assume the mandate.