Somalia’s Opposition Parties Say They Consider All Non-AMISOM Foreign Troops Stationed in The Country “Occupiers”

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) –Somalia’s opposition Forum for National Parties (FNP) said in a statement that it was gravely concerned about the increasing presence of non-AMISOM troops from Ethiopian National Defense Force in many parts of the country.

The Forum underscored that the unilateral action by Ethiopia is a blatant disregard for a long-standing agreement between the Somali Federal government and AMISOM troop contributing countries.

It further added that all foreign troops in Somalia who were not under the AMISOM mandate were to be considered “occupiers”.

A few weeks ago, the Ethiopian troops downed Kenyan cargo plane carrying medical supplies for residents in Berdale town in restive south Somalia. Opposition parties said they were appalled by the attack and the cavalier attitude with which Ethiopian military officials responded to the tragic loss of life by maligning the integrity of professional crew of the airline.

“Over the past few years, a pattern was becoming all too apparent for all to observe the wanton and frightening callousness with which ENDF was interfering in the internal political affairs of Somalia often with the intention of swaying local elections.” reads the opposition statement issued by the FNP, adding: “In the last few weeks alone, the ENDF has deployed additional troops armed with heavy weaponry to the Gedo region of Jubaland state in violation of both AMISOM rules of engagement and the UN arms embargo on Somalia.”

The FNP accused Ethiopian troops in Gedo region of working on a mission to fracture and destabilize Jubaland state after failing to sway elections there back in 2019 in favour of the Villa Somalia.

Ever since the incumbent president of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo came to office, Ethiopia has been a key ally of the administration, it worked on several missions to disrupt elections and political maneuvers deemed against desire of the Federal Government in return for the capture of several ports in Somalia.

However, now opposition parties boldly stress that Ethiopia’s actions are aimed to “brazenly intervene in the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections, and to intimidate opposition groups all across the country.”

Opposition parties reiterate that Ethiopia’s violation of Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is due, in part, to the failure of the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission of Somalia Francisco Madeira whom they accused of previously playing a pivotal role in removing former Parliament Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari.

“Further, ambassador Madeira worked in collusion with the ENDF to interfere with the southwest election in 2018 and Jubaland election in August 2019, therefore, the neutrality of AU representative is questionable as the integrity of AMISOM from then on and in the light of the upcoming national election” asserts FNP statement.

Opposition parties have recently been raising concerns about the neutrality of foreign diplomats in Somalia and delay in the upcoming elections. What goes without say, however, is that the situation has been becoming tense in the past few months as both the current administration and opposition parties continue with irate approaches on a number of political issues.

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