Ethiopian troops Tuesday handed over
security control to the Somalia Federal Transitional Government and a moderate
faction of an Islamic militia group as Ethiopia began its much anticipated
Three years ago in 2006
Ethiopia said it was going into Somalia to protect the transitional government
against Islamic insurgents. But as it withdraws its military, critics say Somalia
is more destabilized than when the Ethiopians first went in.
Bereket Simon, advisor
to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told
VOA Ethiopia achieved most of its objectives for going
have been able to get rid of the immediate and clear dangers that were posed by
extremist forces in Somalia before two years, and then we were striving to take
the opportunity into account by trying to help Somalia become a stable country.
We have been able to open forums between the different clans around Mogadishu.
As you know the reconciliation conference that took place last year, and then
we have been helping them to establish the police force and other
institutions," he said.
however said it was regrettable that Ethiopia was not able to establish an
all-inclusive transitional government. He said that task was left to Somalis to take
advantage of, but he said their political situation was not conducive to form
an all-inclusive government.
Transitional Federal Government was the last thing that we would have liked to
see, but we have opted for an all-inclusive federal government, and that was
primarily the task of the Somali people and Somali political forces. But their
political situation was not conducive for that," he said.
years ago, Ethiopia said it was going into Somalia to protect the fledgling
federal transitional government against Islamist insurgents.
denied that Ethiopian troops are leaving at a time when critics say Somalia is
more destabilized than when Ethiopian troops first went in.
you know in the recent past the political forces in Djibouti have agreed to
form a transitional government where the moderate wing of the former Islamic
Union Forces have joined and an all-inclusive. So for us that negotiation and
the deal that took place in Mogadishu was a step toward that where an
all-inclusive government could have been established, and I think things are
moving in that direction," Simon said.
said there are a lot of political forces in Somalia who are striving to
contribute positively to the stability of the country, including efforts by
groups he called new forces who he said are striving to expel the Islamist
Al-Shabaab militant group from central and southern Somalia.
also denied as groundless accusations by some that Ethiopian troops have been
abusive and heavy-handed during their time in Somalia.
Ethiopian military forces have been very disciplined and when we are leaving
Mogadishu and Baidoa the people who have been working with us, the people of Mogadishu,
Baidoa and the different places in Somalia have expressed their goodwill toward
the army. Had it been abusive, I don't think people would have expressed their
goodwill toward the army," he said.
also denied Ethiopia was strengthening the Islamic insurgency by its withdrawal
and by turning security over to both the transitional government and a moderate
wing of Al-Shabaab.
you know currently the Islamic insurgency has been represented and spearheaded
by Al-Shabaab. As you can see the Al-Shabaab has been extremely hated by the
Somali people, and people have problems against them and they are fighting
back. That's why the Al-Shabaab is retreating from many parts of Somalia,"