Ethiopia will send troops to Somalia if needed

Ethiopia said Wednesday it would send its troops back into Somalia in the unlikely event it was called on to evacuate African peacekeepers in the nation battling Islamist insurgents.

Ethiopia invaded Somalia in 2006 to topple the Islamist movement that gave birth to the Al Qaeda-linked Shebab movement that today controls about 80 percent of the country. It pulled its troops out in early 2009.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said he would send the forces back in the “unlikely scenario” of peacekeeping troops from the African Union’s mission in Somalia (AMISOM), who are propping up the government, needing rescue. “The only time when we may cross it is if the lives of AMISOM troops are under threat, and if they ask for our assistance. Then we will intervene without hesitation,” he said.

African leaders agreed last month to beef up AMISOM in the wake of suicide blasts that killed nearly 80 people in Uganda’s capital in July and were claimed the Shebab. The militants said the blasts were to punish Uganda for its leading role in the peacekeeping force.

Thousands of people have been killed in the violence in Somalia, and many more displaced, with Mogadishu one of the world’s most dangerous cities and the country suffering one of its worst humanitarian disasters.

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Posted by on Aug 14 2010 Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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