ETHIOPIAN TROOPS TO LEAVE SOMALIA BY THE END OF THE YEAR


All Ethiopian troops will leave Somalia by the end of the year, a foreign ministry spokesman has announced. Ethiopia sent thousands of soldiers into Somalia two year to help government forces oust Islamists from the capital, Mogadishu. But their presence has been deeply unpopular with many Somalis.

ethiope-2Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf recently admitted that his forces only control parts of the capital and the central town of Baidoa. Despite being forced from power in Mogadishu, Islamist forces have rallied and stage frequent attacks against Ethiopian and government soldiers.

Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman Wahide Belay said that the deadline for the pull-out was in a letter sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and African Union Commission Chairman Jean Ping on Tuesday. “We have concluded that it’s inappropriate for Ethiopia to maintain its troops in Somalia,” he told the AFP news agency.

The Ethiopian withdrawal was also part of a peace deal agreed recently between the government and moderate Islamists. Some analysts fear a power vacuum after the Ethiopians leave. Somalia has not had an effective national government since 1991.

SOURCED FROM BBC.

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