Tuesday June 16, 2020
MOGADISHU (HOL) - A coalition of political parties in Somalia has reiterated its call on the UN Security Council to investigate and verify the existence of ‘thousands’ of Ethiopia troops in the country serving outside the Africa Union framework.The Forum of National Parties (FNP) said in a statement Monday it was concerned by the growing number of Ethiopian troops in the country contrary to UN resolutions setting the limit of mandated foreign troops in the country.
“The growing presence of Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) constitutes a blatant violation of the UN Security Council’s resolution 733 (1992), which placed an arms embargo on Somalia,” FNP said in a statement.
FNP noted the presence of the Ethiopian troops outside the AMISOM framework amounted to a ‘clear violation of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Somalia.’
FNP brings together six political parties among them Himilo and UPD led by former Presidents Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud respectively.
The Security Council in its resolution 2520 (2020) in May set the upper limit of AU forces in Somalia to 19,626 following the withdrawal of a further 1000 by end of March.
FNP said Ethiopia has had a ‘long and ugly’ history of intervention in Somalia with the effect of weakening the country’s political independence and pursuit of ‘narrow political objectives’.
Ethiopia has for some time now maintained troops in Somalia outside AMISOM and has previously said this was based on a mutual agreement with the Federal Government.
The forces have been deployed in the Gedo region and central regions of Somalia.
FNP cited an instance in which ENDF forces attempted to land in Kismayu last September to intervene in then Jubbaland Presidential elections.
Kenyan troops which were reportedly allied to Jubbaland leader Ahmed Madobe denied the Ethiopian forces landing in Kismayu airport.