The Somali Federal Transitional
Government (TFG) is sharply denying reports suggesting the return of Ethiopian
troops despite a scheduled withdrawal. This comes after Prime Minister Nur
Hassan Hussein recently met with Ethiopian leaders in the capital, Addis Ababa.
Some Somalis claim to have spotted several convoys of Ethiopian troops coming
into the country. But the government
denied the reports without giving reasons. Some political analysts say Ethiopia
might have changed its exit strategy to counter ever-increasing threats by
Islamists, including al-Shabab. Somali political analyst Ali Abdullahi tells reporter
Peter Clottey that it is apparent Ethiopia is making friends with some
is happening with the reinforcement, or perhaps I should call it the
re-arrangement rather than reinforcement because it was just removing them from
one area and putting them in another area. The troops are being drawn from
Mogadishu, and they seem to be going south. It is a matter of trying to prop up
one warlord apparently who has an alliance with the Ethiopians. But there is
also the threat of al-Shabab in the Kismayu area. So it is a very fluid area, and I think they
are trying to get their presence felt in that area," Abdullahi noted.
said the transitional government has been quiet on the development of the
return of Ethiopian troops, although there seems to be an effort not to create
a power vacuum after Ethiopian troops withdraw.
to the issue of an al-Shabab threat and the rearrangement of Ethiopian troops,
these are strategic military issues, which I presume are very secret to the
Ethiopian presence because they have been there for quite some time. And you
cannot pull out of an area overnight. Leaving a vacuum can trigger
destabilization. So they are trying to make sure that they do not create a
vacuum," he said.
described the Somalia situation as sad, and blamed the international community
for not doing enough to alleviate the suffering of the ordinary Somali because
of a growing instability.
stability of the country relies on the coming president of Somalia. However,
the international community as it has always done it has ignored the Somalia
issue at a time of its need. We need a president that can lead Somalia out of
this current crisis. We need a president that can see beyond clanism, and we
need a president that can understand how the global system works. And we need
the assistance of the international community so that Somalia comes back as a
country. If that doesn't happen, then there is going to be more chaos,"
Abdullahi pointed out.
said although Ethiopia has helped in bringing some stability into the country,
it might end up being bedeviled with clan fights.
is an issue that is very secret to the government and that is that Ethiopia has
the right to choose its friends, even if they would choose a warlord to come
back again to run Jubaland, which apparently covers the bigger area of Somalia.
Well, that is their choice. But you have to understand that Ethiopia has been
involved in very tactical maneuvers in Somalia, which from time to time are
counterproductive. I'm looking at it from a strategic point of view because the
more you get bogged down with clannish warfare, then you become another
warlord," he said.
Meanwhile, Nairobi declined to send peacekeepers to
neighboring Somalia, which has not had an effective central government after
the overthrow of former President Mohamed Siad Barre. But after meeting the
Somali speaker of parliament, who also doubles as the acting president ,
Kenya's foreign minister Moses Wetangula said Nairobi is willing to play a crucial
role in rebuilding Somalia. Wetangula adds that Kenya will continue training
Somali customs officials, immigration officers, army personnel and border
guards to help them safeguard their country.