Sierra Leone would not withdraw its military personnel from Somalia despite threats from the Al- Shabaab group, the country’s top defense official said here Monday.

“Sierra Leone has become part of the troops contributing countries because we were bound by the African Union (AU) declaration,” said Alfred Paolo Conteh, Sierra Leone’s defense minister.

It was the country’s “payback” to Africa for what it did in helping Sierra Leone fight a 10-year civil war, which ended in 2002, he added.