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Ethiopian Troops Leave Somalia


Why is a Scot newspaper the only one to report this from Somalia? Troop pull-out leaves government on brink - Ethiopian withdrawal marks end of disastrous intervention that sparked new violence and suffering (..) Ethiopian troops still in Baidoa are under heavy attacks. Troops from the U.S. supported Somali warlord 'government' surrendered to Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) fighters...

[47982]



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Ethiopian Troops Leave Somalia

Moon of Alabama

October 15, 2008

Why is a Scot newspaper the only one to report this from Somalia?

Troop pull-out leaves government on brink - Ethiopian withdrawal marks end of disastrous intervention that sparked new violence and suffering

SOMALIA'S FRAGILE government appears to be on the brink of collapse. Islamist insurgents now controls large parts of southern and central Somalia - and are continuing to launch attacks inside the capital, Mogadishu.

Ethiopia, which launched a US-backed military intervention in Somalia in December 2006 in an effort to drive out an Islamist authority in Mogadishu, is now pulling out its troops.
...
A shipment of Ethiopian weapons, including tanks, left Mogadishu port last month as part of the withdrawal. Bringing the equipment back to Ethiopia by land would have been impossible - analysts believe Ethiopian troops and their Somali government allies control just three small areas in Mogadishu and a few streets in Baidoa, the seat of parliament. There are now estimated to be just 2500 Ethiopian soldiers left inside Somalia, down from 15,000-18,000 at the height of the war.

Ethiopian troops still in Baidoa are under heavy attacks. Troops from the U.S. supported Somali warlord 'government' surrendered to Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) fighters.

Burundi just deployed more peacekeepers to Mogadishu. There are now 3,200 African Union troops  from Uganda and Burundi there and they are also under attack as they seem to play the side of the 'government'. They and other non-Somalis should leave and give the country time to heal.

As the Sunday Herald notes:

The government's fall would mark the end of a disastrous US-backed intervention. For six months in 2006, Somalia was relatively calm. A semblance of peace and security had returned to Mogadishu. The reason was the rise of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), a loose coalition of Islamist leaders who had driven out Mogadishu's warlords.

Hardline elements within the UIC vowed to launch a jihad against Somalia's traditional enemy, Ethiopia. The US viewed the UIC has an "al-Qaeda cell" - a belief not shared by the majority of analysts and diplomats.

The concern the 'west' now voices about Somalia is piracy. There was little to no piracy when the UIC ruled. Leave the country alone and deliver aid when asked is the best the international community can now do.


:: Article nr. 47982 sent on 16-oct-2008 00:29 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=47982

Link: www.moonofalabama.org/2008/10/ethiopian-troop.html



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