Southwest Challenges Withdrawal of Ethiopian Forces from Somalia

Southwest Rejects Ethiopian Military Pullout from Somalia

BAIDOA, Somalia – The Southwest regional state staunchly resists the exit of Ethiopia’s National Defence Forces (ENDF) from Somalia, highlighting their pivotal role in fostering tranquility and security over the past two decades.

Ethiopia was first to send troops to Somalia in 2007, after the rise of Al-Shabaab insurgents aiming to overthrow Somalia’s delicate UN-supported federal government. Ethiopia maintains nearly 5000 soldiers in Somalia.

Regardless of Ethiopia’s contributions to stabilization, Somalia demands the troops vacate by late 2024, referencing a recent agreement between Addis Ababa and Hargeisa that sparked fresh clashes in the Horn of Africa.

The Southwest State asserts Ethiopian soldiers remain essential for stabilization, criticizing withdrawal plans as “misguided” and “unwarranted.” Meanwhile, African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) forces have commenced their departure.

The regional Ministry of Security announced on its X (formerly Twitter) account that the Southwest administration is watching over individuals spreading misinformation about the Ethiopian army in the region.

“Ethiopian troops under ATMIS are tasked with a formidable mission. We appreciate their peacekeeping efforts and they will continue their operations here,” declared the Southwest Ministry of Security.

On Saturday, Somalia’s national security advisor, Hussein Sheikh Ali, proclaimed Ethiopia won’t be an ally for peace and stability. He charged Ethiopia with infringing upon Somalia’s borders and sovereignty.

Sheikh Ali further declared Ethiopian troops would not operate in Somalia after the ATMIS mission, emphasizing they are unwelcome. Only Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda, and Burundi will be permitted to deploy troops post-ATMIS, he noted.

Ethiopia inked a Memorandum of Understanding with North Western of Somalia which, if realized, would grant Ethiopia 20 kilometers of Red Sea coast for building a Naval Base and port, in return for recognizing North Western of Somalia’s sovereignty.


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