Ethiopia deploys new troops in neighboring Somalia

MOGADISHU – Authorities in southwestern Somalia say Ethiopia has deployed a whole bunch of troops to Somalia’s Gedo area to stop al-Shabab militants from crossing into Ethiopia

Gedo regional administration spokesman Ali Yussuf Abdullahi mentioned the Ethiopian troops have been coming to the area for the reason that finish of final week and have established bases in and across the border city of Dolow.

Abdullahi, additionally referred to as Ali Juba, spoke to VOA by cellphone on Monday and mentioned the troops, numbering about 2,000, had been deployed to battle al-Shabab militants who started massing numerous fighters close to the border.

Abdullahi mentioned he needed to inform the folks of Somalia that a brand new drawback has arisen from al-Shabab which continues in Hiran, Bakol and Gedo. Abdullahi mentioned the Gedo administration authorities are affected by the terrorist group’s new assaults within the border areas with Ethiopia. Because of the elevated insecurity, he mentioned, al-Shabab militants infiltrated border areas and that cooperation with Ethiopia is mandatory. That is why new troops have arrived and are staying in and round Dolow, he mentioned.

Regional specialists mentioned they consider al-Shabab needs to determine a presence in Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, Abdullahi informed VOA that an Ethiopian airstrike hit a number of al-Shabab positions within the Gedo area, together with close to Kabas, the place al-Shabab militants had been gathering to launch an assault into Ethiopia. He mentioned the airstrike was carried out in coordination with the Ethiopian navy and Somalia’s Jubaland authorities authorities.

Asked if the Federal Government of Somalia knew concerning the arrival of Ethiopia’s contemporary non-African Union Mission troops within the area, he responded by saying the federal government knew the troops had been coming to battle the militant group.

The Ethiopian troop deployment in Somalia comes after the Ethiopian navy mentioned its safety forces killed greater than 800 al-Shabab fighters in response to a uncommon cross-border assault.

The Ethiopian navy additionally mentioned 24 prime al-Shabab leaders had been amongst these killed in the newest operations towards the fear group. Late final month, a whole bunch of al-Shabab fighters crossed Somalia’s border into Ethiopia and clashed with specifically educated counter-terrorist forces referred to as the Liyu police.

The group entered Ethiopia at a number of areas from Somalia’s border areas of Hiran and Bakool, in keeping with safety officers.

US assessments counsel that al-Shabab fighters can have superior so far as 150 kilometers into Ethiopia earlier than being deterred.

A Horn of Africa analyst just lately informed VOA that home unrest in Ethiopia and the focus of troops within the Tigray battle make this an opportune time for al-Shabab to strike.

The president of Ethiopia’s Somali area introduced final week that Ethiopian forces will set up a buffer zone inside Somalia to stop additional al-Shabab cross-border assaults.

Following latest suspected Ethiopian navy airstrikes within the area of Hiran, al-Shabab militants destroyed the antennas of the privately owned telecommunications corporations within the area.

Al-Shabab has been combating the Somali authorities and AU peacekeepers since 2007. It additionally carried out lethal assaults in neighboring Kenya and one in Uganda.

Harun Maruf contributed to this report.

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