National
Ethiopian troops join African force in Somalia
Publish Date: Jan 22, 2014
Ethiopian troops join African force in Somalia
A Burundian soldier serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) looks along a road from a new position established in northern Mogadishu
  • mail
  • img
newvision

MOGADISHU - Ethiopian troops in Somalia on Wednesday formally joined the UN-backed African Union force amid efforts to boost operations against Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels, officials said.

Hardline Shebab insurgents control large parts of rural southern Somalia, having been driven from a string of towns by the African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM), although guerrilla units stage regular deadly attacks in the capital Mogadishu.

The inclusion of Ethiopia into the force will free up other units to stage a long awaited offensive on Shebab bases in the far southern regions of Lower and Middle Shabelle, with Kenyan units advancing from the south, and Uganda and Burundi pressing from the north.

"Ethiopian troops will constitute AMISOM's sixth contingent," the force said Wednesday, with soldiers re-hatting to join troops from Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

Ethiopia is to contribute a three battalion-strong contingent -- suggesting some 2,000 men -- although the mission has not given exact troop numbers.

Their troops are based mainly in southern border zones, including in the towns of Baidoa and Beledweyne.

Last year the UN Security Council authorised the force boost its numbers by around a third to 22,000, as part of efforts to wrest final towns from the Shebab, including the port of Barawe.

"The Ethiopian deployment will permit Burundian and Ugandan forces to move into parts of Lower and Middle Shabelle," the mission said in a statement, suggesting preparations for a long awaited assault.

AMISOM, first deployed in 2007, is a unique military operation as it is run by the African Union, but with a UN mandate. Most of its financing comes from the European Union and other international donors.

Ethiopian troops crossed into Somalia in November 2011 to battle Shebab militants, reprising a role they played in their 2006 US-backed invasion of Somalia.

The 2006 invasion sparked a bloody uprising, and Ethiopian troops pulled out three years later after failing to restore order in their lawless neighbour.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
THE incursion by the Ugandan rebel group ADF took place overnight in the town of Kampi ya Chui....
Businessman sues UNRA over Entebbe Expressway
A businessman has dragged UNRA to court seeking sh5b in damages for loss of business and the inconvenience over the construction of the Entebbe Expressway....
US Commander of Africa Forces visits
President Yoweri Museveni has said that the main challenge in Somalia today was clan-related issues. The President made the remarks at State House Entebbe in a meeting with the United States of America Commander of Africa Forces, General David Rodriguez....
Museveni hails Uganda-North Korea ties
President Yoweri Museveni describes the North Koreans as friends who have helped Uganda for a long time on visit of one of its leaders....
Slain Unilever boss mourned
Speaker after speaker described Makanga as a smart, classy, humble, respectful, joyful, hardworking man at his funeral in Kampala....
Muntu warns Mafabi, Nabila over media exchanges
ACCORDING to John Kikonyogo, the party spokesperson, Muntu said discussing the issues in the media was affecting the image of the party...
Should the absence of bride price prevent couples from wedding?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter