Business, Finance & Economics

Somalia News: Ethiopia plans to withdraw troops


Ethiopia claims to pull out its troops from Somalia, but we'll see. Here, the first African Union contingent from Djibouti arrive at Mogadishu’s Adan Ade international airport on December 20, 2011. Somali government officials reported the first contingent consisted of 200 heavily equipped troops from Djibouti with more to follow. The troops, who marched out of the airplane in combat uniform and carrying rifles, were welcomed at Mogadishu airport by top Somali military officials and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) leaders.


Mohamed Abdiwahab

NAIROBI, Kenya — Ethiopia says its army is pulling out of Somalia, a claim that should be stored in the "believe it when I see it" drawer.

Ethiopian troops last invaded Somalia in big numbers at the tail end of 2006, and they stuck around for a couple of years before departing, leaving behind them a lot of dead civilians, a renewed animosity with their neighbours and a resurgent insurgency in the form of the Shabaab. 

Except they never really departed.

Ethiopia regards the bits of land on both sides of its long and porous border with Somalia as its own stamping grounds and has launched cross-border sorties with the kind of gay abandon you can only get away with when your neighbor subsists in government-less chaos. It has also trained, equipped and funded pliant proxy militias.

So declarations that having achieved its mission in taking the town of Beledweyne from the Al Shabaab it is now withdrawing its army, should be treated with scepticism.

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