Ethiopian troops deploy in south-central Somalia

By: Apa : 
February 14, 2014 


Ethiopian forces have been deployed to south-central to battle al-Shabaab militants active in the region, reports indicate Friday.The deployment comes as the Somali Prime Minister Abdi Weli Sheikh Ahmed and his Ethiopian counterpart Hailemariam Desalegn held talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa about the security situation in the Horn of Africa region.

Reports from Bakool Region southwest of Somalia close to border with Ethiopia indicate that additional Ethiopian forces under AMISOM arrived in El-Berde town in Bakool region to monitor to approaches to Hudur the provincial capital, where al-Shabaab has its last remaining strongholds.

With support from Somali government forces, AMISOM has driven al-Shabaab insurgents from some strategic cities, including the capital, Mogadishu, in August 2011 and the port city of Kismayo.

Mahomed Mo’alim who Bakool governor told the African Press Agency on Friday that Ethiopian forces have been beefing up security in the area following reports of al-Shabaab activity.

He said locals have welcomed that arrival of the troops who are largely seen as protectors.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian forces reached at Baladweyne town the capital of Hiran Region central Somalia.

Ethiopian forces have been operating in Somalia for several years, helping the UN-backed government fight the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab group.

Last month more than 4,000 Ethiopian troops were formally absorbed into the African Union force in

Ethiopia troops first entered Somalia in 2006 to remove the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), which had ruled much of the south.

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