News / Africa

Ethiopia Opens New Front against Somalia's al-Shabab

Witnesses in Somalia say columns of Ethiopian troops have crossed into the country and are marching toward key al-Shabab strongholds, apparently opening a new military front against the Islamist militant group.

A government official, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed the reports to VOA on Monday, saying the soldiers had reached the town of Luq in the southwest Gedo region.

Ethiopia Opens New Front against Somalia's al-Shabab
Ethiopia Opens New Front against Somalia's al-Shabab

The location includes a major road leading to the Bay and Bakool regions, which are under al-Shabab's control. The official says the Ethiopian convoy entered Somalia through the border town of Dolow.

Al-Shabab is facing pressure inside Somalia from Ethiopian forces already there, Kenyan troops who entered the country in October, and African Union troops in the capital, Mogadishu.

Last week, the al-Qaida-linked group said it killed 33 Ethiopian soldiers during a suicide attack on an army base in the town of Beledweyne. The Ethiopian military typically does not release casualty figures.

Al-Shabab is fighting to overthrow Somalia's U.N.-backed transitional government and impose strict Islamic law. The group controls large sections of southern and central Somalia but has lost ground in recent months. AU and Somali troops drove the group out of Mogadishu last year, while Ethiopian forces recently took control of Beledweyne.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives for the 18th African Union (AU) Summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 29, 2012
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives for the 18th African Union (AU) Summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 29, 2012

In an interview Monday with VOA correspondent Peter Heinlein, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Somali leaders to exploit al-Shabab’s retreat and make a push to assert greater control over the war-ravaged country.

"I met President Sheikh Sharif and also during my visit last December to Somalia, I urged that this is a very small window of opportunity for Somalia, to fully utilize this stability, fighting back al-Shabab, they should establish this administration in the liberated areas," said the U.N. Secretary General. "They should also provide the social economic opportunities to their people.”

Somalia has not had a stable central government since 1991.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid