MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s Defense Minister Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur on Wednesday met with Ethiopian Chief of General Staff Birhanu Jula to discuss regional security and cooperation between the two countries on the fight against Al-Shabaab.
Nur said, in a statement, that the meeting which culminated fruitfully, focused on forging a military cooperation between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu on the “elimination of Al-Shabaab.”
Ethiopia has not yet commented on the meeting, the latest in efforts by Somali authorities to receive support from neighboring countries in an ongoing offensive to dislodge Al-Shabaab from key central regions.
Addis Ababa has thousands of troops under the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia helping the fight against Islamist rebels.
The meeting came days after militants seized the towns of Daynunay and Gofgadud-burey on the outskirts of Baidoa. Ethiopian military officials there have reportedly refused to launch counter-offensive to return control of the area to the Somali army, citing concerns that deploying troops outside Baidoa could expose the city’s security to more vulnerabilities and attacks by insurgents.
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