Somali President Hassan Sheik Mahmoud said that the inclusion of Ethiopian forces into the African Union Peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) came with the requests from the federal government of Somalia and as well as the African Union.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
In an interview with local Somali Universal TV, the president said that the Ethiopian troops were different from the rest of AU peacekeepers adding they will stay for a short period during which they will help the government defeat the Al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabab militants.
The Ethiopian forces became part of the AU mission earlier this year and so far they helped the Somali government seize nearly ten towns and villages from Al Shabab fighters.
Djiboutian contingent of AMISOM who took control of Buulo Burte had also played a big role in the combat operations which saw the recapture of more towns in south-central Somalia in the first three months of the year.
“Ethiopian troops will stay in the country for only 18 months and during the period they will complete their mission to help us pacify the country” the president explained during his interview last night.
“The arrival of Ethiopian forces in the country was mainly intended to intensify the fight against Al Shabab” president Hassan noted.
He explained that after the recapture of more cities and towns from Al Shabab, the combat operation was halted due to the rainy season, but he did not exactly say when the operation will resume.
HOL English News Desk