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Ethiopian troops restart offensive against al-Shabaab
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
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Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) Ethiopian forces, who joined the AMISOM peacekeeping force in Somalia last month have renewed an offensive against the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn has confirmed.
The Ethiopian PM told a press conference in Addis Ababa that the mission was to bring to a definitive end the militant's grip on pockets of provinces in Somalia and reduce its capacity to threaten the Somali government.
Dessalegn was Tuesday quoted by the Ethiopian press as saying: ``We have joined AMISOM forces to ensure that the international terror activities by al-Shabaab are stopped. With the presence of other AMISOM forces from Uganda, Burundi, Kenya and Sierra Leone we will achieve this year's target of weakening the terrorist group.``
The PM did not state where the operation was taking place.
He appealed for more international support for the government in Somalia, saying it was time the international community realized that the protracted lack of stability in the strife-torn country would haunt the rest of the world where insecurity was already rife due to the activities of extremists bent on destroying peace.
4,000 Ethiopian troops who had operated in Somalia for two years under the control of their government are now under the UN-backed AMISOM.
Ethiopia's contribution takes the AU force to 22,000 troops, the country becoming the sixth largest contributing nations, joining Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Uganda.
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