Saturday, April 27, 2013
The Ethiopian ministry of foreign affairs said that remarks made by
the country’s prime minister over the pull-out of troops from Somalia
The ministry has refuted a report by Reuters saying that Ethiopia is urgently withdrawing its troops from war-torn Somalia.
addressing parliament on Tuesday, Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam
Desalegn said the country is under preparing to fully withdraw its
The premier blamed the African Union force in Somalia
(AMISOM) over Ethiopia’s delayed withdrawal, accusing it of failing to
keep its promise to replace Ethiopian forces.
He said it was almost a year since AMISOM pledge to replace Ethiopian troops.
month, Ethiopian troops made a sudden pull-out from Hudur, the capital
of Bakool province in protest over AMISOM’s delay to replace the
Ethiopian forces in parts of the country now under AU control.
As a result of the withdrawal al-Shabaab fighters were subsequently able to retake control of the town.
Clarifying the premier’s remarks, foreign ministry spokesman Dina Mufti denied Ethiopia is immediately pulling out from Somalia.
prime minister] said [the] Ethiopian defence force has to be
transferred to those areas where there is need for more stability. He
has never said we are going to withdraw”, Mufti said.
said Ethiopia is anxious to end its military intervention in Somalia as
soon as Somalian forces and AMISOM take over from Ethiopian forces.
It further said the main issue for Ethiopia is “to accelerate our complete withdrawal towards our border”.
to VOA, AMISOM spokesperson Eloi Yao, said that the mission has not
received any formal statement from Ethiopia regarding its withdrawal.
Addis Ababa has called on Somalia and AMISOM to speed up their replacement of Ethiopian forces.
re-entered its forces into Somalia in 2011 to assist the weak Somalian
government and AU forces in their battle against al-Qaeda-allied
militants from al-Shabaab, which had been in control in many parts of
Following the deployment of Ethiopian troops in
Somalia many key towns were liberated from al-Shabaab with the East
African nation seeing improved peace and stability.