Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

4 Nations to Pull Troops out of Somalia

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

4 Nations to Pull Troops out of Somalia

Article excerpt

Four more nations have decided to withdraw their soldiers from Somalia, U.N. officials said Wednesday.

Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are the latest to head for the exit from this almost lawless, chaotic country, joining the United States, Canada, Italy, Germany, France, Norway, Belgium, Greece, South Korea and Tunisia.

U.N. officials expressed concern that still others might follow, threatening the continuation of the mission to help form a government.

Morocco's decision to withdraw was the heaviest blow. With 1,378 soldiers, it would have been the fourth-largest contingent left in Somalia after the withdrawal of American forces. Saudi Arabia has contributed 756 soldiers, the United Arab Emirates 326, and Kuwait 120.

The U.S. withdrawal is scheduled to be completed March 25, six days ahead of the deadline set by President Bill Clinton in October after a firefight that killed 18 U.S. soldiers and wounded 83.

The various national forces are leaving behind a country where government has not functioned since dictator Mohammed Siad Barre was ousted in January 1991, where warlords still vie for military and political supremacy and where banditry is a way of life. …

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