Monday August 8, 2022
The security minister for Jubbland regional state of Somalia, Yusuf Dhumal, said that the Ethiopian forces reached the southern Gedo town of Dolow but were not part of the UN-backed African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).
Kismayo (HOL) - Jubaland's regional administration confirmed on Monday that hundreds of Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) fighters crossed the border into Somali territory and had reached parts of the Gedo region following weeks of fighting against Al Shabab in the Bakool region.
"It's an army of roughly 2000. We do not have a problem with their (ENDF) presence, and we will cooperate on regional security," said Minister Dhumal.
Dhumal added that Jubaland forces would work with the Ethiopian military to secure the border from Al-Shabaab militants.
Dhumal confirmed that the Ethiopian troops controlled Dolow airport and the city bridge.
Gedo's regional administration spokesman, Ali Yussuf Abdullahi, said that the troops have been streaming into the region since late last week and that Somalia's federal government was aware of their arrival.
He added that the increase in insecurity had made cooperation with Ethiopian forces necessary.
For the first time since its inception nearly two decades ago, Somali-based Al-Shabaab launched an attack on Ethiopia in July 2020 with reportedly over 1000 fighters. Al-Shabaab fighters made it over 100km into Ethiopian territory before Somali regional Special Forces could halt their offensive.
Security experts say that the turmoil caused by the Tigray conflict has emboldened Al-Shabaab to strike.
According to the Ethiopian government, over 813 Al Shabaab fighters were killed, including two dozen senior leaders, although this claim has not yet been independently verified.