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
NSSF: Jamwa
The hearing of the appeal in which former NSSF managing director David Chandi Jamwa is challenging his conviction and the sentence of 12 years imprisonment was on Thursday delayed until October 10....
Mother jailed for dumping her baby in toilet
Betty Naggujja will spend nearly two years behind bars after being convicted of dumping her newly-born child in a pit latrine....
World tourism numbers up 4.6 percent in first half: UN
International tourist numbers grew 4.6 percent in the first half of 2014, boosted by strong growth in the Americas, Asia and parts of Europe, the World Tourism Organisation said...
Archbishop Lwanga urges Christians to denounce witchcraft
Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga has urged Christians to denounce witchcraft saying all it does is drive them into poverty....
Gov’t spokespersons tipped on information disemmination
Government has embarked on a training programme for spokespersons of Ministries and departments in a bid to improve information flow in the fast changing media industry....
Rights activists want govt to address  marginalized poor
Rights activists want Government to address the underlying causes that drive the less privileged into marginal areas such as road/railway reserves, wetlands and streets...
Will early retirement solve Uganda’s unemployment problem?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter