News / Africa

Ethiopia Denies Planning Immediate Pullout From Somalia

Ethiopian soldiers patrol in the town of Baidoa in Somalia, Feb. 29, 2012.Ethiopian soldiers patrol in the town of Baidoa in Somalia, Feb. 29, 2012.
Ethiopian soldiers patrol in the town of Baidoa in Somalia, Feb. 29, 2012.
Ethiopian soldiers patrol in the town of Baidoa in Somalia, Feb. 29, 2012.
Gabe Joselow
Ethiopia’s foreign ministry has denied there are plans to immediately withdraw all troops from Somalia, despite remarks by the Ethiopian prime minister expressing frustration with the pace of military progress in the country. 
Speaking to parliament Tuesday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the African Union force in Somalia has not kept its promise to replace Ethiopian soldiers in parts of the country under AU control. 
Ethiopian forces entered Somalia two years ago to assist the AU force, known as AMISOM, in its fight against al-Shabab militants.  The Ethiopians have enjoyed success securing towns and cities in western Somalia.
But Hailemariam said the failure of AMISOM to replace Ethiopian troops influenced a decision in March to pull out of the town of Hudur, which was then retaken by al-Shabab.
In a statement Wednesday, the foreign ministry clarified the prime minister’s remarks, saying Ethiopia was “anxious to pull its forces out of Somalia” as soon as the Somali army and AMISOM take over from Ethiopian forces.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti told VOA Ethiopian forces are not planning to immediately pull out of the country.
“[The prime minister] said, Ethiopian defense force has to be transferred to those areas where there is need for more stability.  He has never said we are going to withdraw," he said. 
The prime minister noted that Ethiopia bears the cost of its military operation in Somalia alone, as Ethiopian forces are operating independent of AMISOM.
He said Ethiopia’s main focus should be “to accelerate our complete withdrawal towards our border.”
AMISOM spokesman Eloi Yao told VOA the peacekeeping force has not received any formal statement from Ethiopia regarding conditions for withdrawing forces.
He said in the event of a sudden pullback, the military commanders on the ground would work with the Somali government to decide a way forward.
“As you know, in military operations, plans are made and those plans can always be adjusted according to situations," said Yao. 
Hailemariam’s remarks come ahead of a Somalia conference in London next month, aimed at coordinating development efforts for the country as it recovers from two decades of civil war.

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Comment Sorting
by: Alem
May 07, 2013 8:53 AM
Gabe: I could not believe it is taking Obama Administration this long to figure out games Ethiopian rulers have been playing in Somalia. Please go back six years and count the number of times and the timing of a pull-out followed by denials. I am hoping you are a serious reporter wanting to tell Americans the whole truth. Ethiopian rulers do NOT want to share "peace-keeping" in Somalia with any other country. This is big business and also allows them to remain in power indefinitely and not be scrutinized for wiping out all opposition in Ethiopia and also for stealing millions of aid money. In other words, pull-out announcements and denials jack up the going price. It is sad that American taxpayers dollars are prolonging tyranny that Obama preached will not be tolerated. The photo of Ethiopian soldiers above is revealing. You may want to study the "leader" on his cellphone [his attire and shoes, etc]. You may also want to look at Ethiopia in South Sudan [for America] at the same time remaining "bosom buddies" with Omar Bashir. That should tell you why Ethiopian rulers hunt down, jail, torture, and exile independent journalists. What you now have is Ethiopian rulers news outlets in their varied configurations run from Ministry of Information. That explains why two Swedish journalists who sneaked in from Somalia side were arrested and their videos confiscated before they could publish news Ethiopian rulers would not want the world to know. Would you believe if I told you the news of Islamic uprising in Ethiopia is partly staged? Would you believe if I informed you the Saudi Al Amoudi mining projects use dangerous chemicals and would not allow any foreign journalist to come close? Do you realize your not informing the public properly could cause deaths, imprisonment, and promote tyranny?

by: Truth Teller from: Here
April 24, 2013 11:45 PM
Whether Ethiopian troops stays in Somalia or leave - it's in NO OTHER countries best interest, but Ethiopia's national security. So, Western countries - especially the United States and EU - should NOT be a sucker for this old and silly trick and rush to fill up this corrupt and thuggish regimes Swiss Bank account - with their CITIZENS tax payers dollar. AGAIN, ANY MONEY RAISED OR INCREASED OR DONATED FOR THIS REGIME - FOR REASONS THAT "ETHIOPIAN TROOPS ARE PULLING OUT FROM SOMALIA?!?!" - WILL ONLY BENEFIT THE THUGGISH LEADERSHIP FAT POCKET!!
In Response

by: Nostra Daimus from: Houston
April 26, 2013 11:38 AM
You must be really a Dummy, or you pretend to be one. African countries can't play stupid anymore. This is America's responsibility to fight/fund it. The Primeminister should have pulled Ethiopian troops.

Just tell me how many countries are suffering because of America's insatiable hunger for drugs? All countries down south their budget is being depleted to stop drugs going to America.

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