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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ethiopia May Withdraw from Somalia

Ethiopia hints that they may withdraw from Somalia, and The Shabaab and Islamic Courts Union suggest that they have given the Somali people a great victory with repelling the invaders.Check Spelling

Ethiopia is right that African Union has dropped the ball, and the US then sees that they must intervene to prevent a the setting up a spot of land that al Qaeda has stated they will use as a base to establish a multi-national caliphate.

Below are links that describe both points of view:

-Shimron

Ethiopia's story (Reuters, August 28th, 2008)

Nairobi - Ethiopia could withdraw its troops from war-torn Somalia even if the transitional government is not stable, but will hold on at least until the AU deploys additional peacekeepers, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said.

Ethiopian troops invaded neighbouring Somalia in 2006 to help kick out the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) and put the transitional federal government back in power.
  • Ethiopia has long worried that instability in Somalia and the existence of Somali separatist groups in Ethiopia's Ogaden region only increases the anxiety.
  • "The operation has been extremely expensive, so we will have to balance the domestic pressures on the one hand and pressures in Somalia on the other and try to come up with a balanced solution," Zenawi told the Financial Times in an interview.
  • The Somali government and some moderate opposition leaders recently signed a peace agreement, but Islamic insurgent group al-Shabaab - the armed wing of the UIC - has refused to recognise it.

Al-Shabaab says Ethiopian must leave Somalia before any kind of peace can be achieved.
UN agencies say over 6 000 civilians have died in the insurgency that exploded in early 2007. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis who fled fighting in the capital Mogadishu are now living in camps.

  • Ethiopian troops, backed by a small contingent of AU soldiers, have struggled to contain the insurgents, who last Friday seized control of the strategic port town Kismayo.
  • Despite Zenawi's apparent impatience with the state of play and also squabbles between the Somali president and prime minister, he said that Ethiopia would "hold the ring" until the AU could deploy more peacekeepers.
  • However, he made it clear that Ethiopia was not happy with carrying the burden by itself, with little backing from the AU and no backing from the international community.

"We didn't anticipate that the international community would be happy riding the Ethiopian horse and flogging it at the same time for so long," he told the British daily.

Only a quarter of the planned 8 000-strong AU force has been deployed so far. The UN has also been mulling sending in a peacekeeping force, but has so far taken no action.

Shabaab - UIC's Story (August 29th, 2008)

UIC: We destroyed the Ethiopian dream Fri, 29 Aug 2008 20:48:09 GMT

Zenawi had said Ethiopia was to leave Somalia urgently. The Somali opposition has commented on the news about the 'urgent' Ethiopian withdrawal from Somalia saying they dashed the Ethiopians' hopes.

  • We destroyed the Ethiopian dream and taught them an unforgettable lesson, the spokesman for the Somali opposition, the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC)'s military wing Al-Shabaab, Abdi Rahim Isse Addow told a Press TV correspondent.
  • The Al-Shabaab spokesman added that they were elated by the news about the pullout which would mark a turning point in Somalia's recent beleaguered history.
  • He noted that Ethiopia brushed off the international community's advice against (the 2006) Somalia invasion which the troops carried out with US encouragement.

"Somalia is too great a nation to fall to Ethiopia. We form an independent state which won freedom a long time ago" - added the spokesman who had earlier vowed they would fight off the Ethiopians even throughout the holy month of Ramadan.

The Rest @ Press TV (Iran)

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