By extending AMISOM's mandate to the end of July, the United Nations Security Council allowed for a review of recommendations expected in a "joint assessment" report on Somalia to be presented by June 15.
There are plans for a full withdrawal of foreign troops by December 2020, but heads of state and ministers from the main troop contributors -- including Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda -- in March warned the time frame for the drawdown was "not realistic and would lead to a reversal of the gains made by AMISOM." The mission was deployed in 2007 to defend the internationally-backed government against attacks by the Shabaab, a Somali-led Al-Qaeda affiliate.
The Shabaab was blamed for the country's worst ever attack, in which a truck bombing left more than 500 dead in October last year.
Experts describe the bloated and largely ineffective Somali army as a collection of clan militias, with various international militaries providing poorly-coordinated training to different units.
The Shabaab lost its foothold in Mogadishu in 2011 but has continued its fight.
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