Ethiopia Begins Troop Withdrawal from Somalia

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Ethiopia has begun pulling out thousands of non-AMISOM troops in Somalia after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared war on rebellious Tigray state on Wednesday.

Soon after the Ethiopian Prime Minister ordered national defense forces to launch major operation against Tigray region in response to alleged attack on a military in the region’s capital, Mekelle, dozens of vehicles carrying troops crossed Somalia border into Ethiopia.

Hundreds of Ethiopian troops vacated their bases in the border town of Dolow in Gedo region on Tuesday and crossed the border into Ethiopia where a military operation against TPLF swung into action.

Local authorities told Somaliguardian that the troops who emptied bases in Dolow were not part of AMISOM mission since Ethiopia has thousands of non-AMISOM garrisons of major bases to prevent camps from being easily run over by militant Islamists.

Hundreds of Ethiopian troops have also pulled out of bases in Bay, Bakol, Hiran and Gedo regions returning home. Local Somali officials say Ethiopian commanders told them that they were called away on assignment.

AMISOM has not yet commented on withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Somalia and whether the move could complicate the war against Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab armed group that controls large swathes of territory in the Horn of Africa nation.

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