Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Saudi Arabia: Behind the royal family reshuffle

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Oil industry cuts an election issue in Scotland

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Iran bans 'homosexual' and 'devil-worshipping' hairstyles

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Hollande draws criticism on third anniversary of his presidency

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Burundi: Judges back Nkurunziza's bid for third term

Read more

DEBATE

France's Patriot Act? Lawmakers Approve Surveillance Bill (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

France's Patriot Act? Lawmakers Approve Surveillance Bill (part 1)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'French Patriot Act' criticised online

Read more

FOCUS

Will Finland's eurosceptic party enter government?

Read more

Africa

Ethiopian troops quit two Mogadishu bases

Latest update : 2009-01-15

Ethiopian soldiers, who moved into Somalia in 2006 to oppose the rise of Islamist militias, have pulled out of their headquarters in the war-torn country's capital. An Islamist official said insurgents have taken over the Ethiopian bases.

AFP - Ethiopian forces pulled out Tuesday from two bases in northern Mogadishu in their first withdrawal from the lawless Somali capital since rolling into the seaside city two years ago.
   
Farah Abdi Warsame, a resident said: "It is a happy day today to see the area for the first time in two years without the Ethiopian forces. We hope the rest will leave the country."
   
Hundreds of residents rushed to see the empty camps in Yakshid district, which alongside other Mogadishu neighbourhoods have seen some of the worst violence between Islamist insurgents and the forces.
   
"The Ethiopian forces withdrew from key positions in northern Mogadishu overnight and our fighters took control of the areas in order to avoid a power vacuum," added Sheikh Hassan Osman, an Islamist official.
   
Ethiopia announced its withdrawal in November, sparking concerns of a security vacuum in the war-ravaged country where an African Union force has been unable to halt the violence and insurgents have retaken many regions.
   
The ill-equipped and under-funded AU force expected to eventually number 8,000 soldiers currently comprises only 3,400 troops from Uganda and Burundi.
   
Addis Ababa sent its forces into Somalia in late 2006 to back an embattled interim government against an Islamist movement that had gained control of swathes of territory in south and central Somalia.
   
But the ouster of the Islamists triggered relentless fighting that has killed thousands of civilians and displaced hundreds of thousands others.

Date created : 2009-01-13

COMMENT(S)