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Friday, August 3, 2018

Security: US To Withdraw Troops From Cameroon

The US military is seeking to withdraw hundreds of its troops from Africa as Washington deploys its resources to tackle threats from China and Russia.

US defense officials said troop cuts would imply a reduction in missions in West and Central Africa where emphasis was placed on training local troops to attack Islamist militant groups.

General Thomas Waldhauser, head of the United States Command for Africa, told the New York Times that the withdrawal would begin in countries like Cameroon.

"We are not leaving," said Waldhauser, adding that the United States "would reserve the right to return unilaterally" if necessary to protect American interests.

Last October, four US soldiers were among those killed when their convoy was attacked by militants in Niger, near the border with Mali. A Pentagon report pointed to flaws in the operation, including command errors and insufficient training. An American adviser was killed in Somalia in June. There are more than 7,300 Special Operations troops around the world, many of whom target terrorists in Yemen, Libya and Somalia.

About 1,200 of these troops are on mission in Africa. Earlier this year, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis revealed a change in Washington's policy, describing how "the threats have changed." There is more and more volatility and uncertainty around the world. challenges from Russia and China, "he said, according to the website of the US Department of Defense. Carter Ham, a retired general who once commanded Africa Command, approved the decision, but told the Times: "My concern in Africa is that with a very modest presence and level of engagement, reducing it will reduce likelihood of good results on the continent. "

Pentagon spokesman Major Sheryll Klinkel told CNN that no decision or change has yet been made for the forces operating in Africa." The Department is constantly reviewing Plans, operations and military investments around the world to develop the best options that respond to the ever-changing threat to US national interests. "