Somalia: Ethiopian Forces Enter Somalia to Battle Al Shabaab
DOLOW, Somalia - Fresh Ethiopian troops moved into neighboring Somalia from the border point of Gedo region in the past few days ahead offensive against Al Shabaab, Garowe Online reports.
The troops estimated 1,000 soldiers with around 30 military personnel carriers and armored vehicles mounted with machine guns drove through the border town of Dolow Tuesday and Wednesday.
Mohamed Hussein Al-Qadi, the deputy governor of Gedo region, told VOA Somali Service that the Ethiopian forces entered Somalia to assist the Federal Government an assault to root out Al-Shabaab.
Al Qadi's remarks came as the security experts blame the Government leaders and AMISOM - African Union Mission in Somalia for leaking the military's Special Operations against Al Shabaab to the media.
Ethiopia's foreign minister confirms that troops have crossed into Somalia.
The ongoing military build-up in Somalia comes after President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo made a quick visit to Uganda, Ethiopia and Djibouti last October, seeking a support for the an-all out offensive.
During his regional trip, President Farmajo has asked the leaders of the troop-contributing countries he visited to send additional forces to Somalia to bolster military operations of AMISOM and SNA against the resurgent al-Shabaab insurgents.
Before he came to power, President Farmajo promised during his election campaign that the country will no longer rely on troops from east African countries, mainly Ethiopia, which he was seeing at that time as Somalia's arch rival.
Despite being pushed out of Mogadishu, the Somali capital in 2011 by Somali and AU forces, the militant group still controls swathes of territories in the south and central regions of the horn of Africa country.
Farmajo's government has transferred Qalbi Dhagah, a senior ONLF leader to Ethiopia last August despite no extradition treaty between Mogadishu and Addis Ababa. The move has sparked public anger and criticism from Somali people.
This development comes as leaders of Somalia's Federal member states and Federal government of Somalia are holding a high-level consultative meeting in Mogadishu to discuss the security, Federalism, national resources sharing and other key issues.