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Ethiopia rules out return to Somalia despite Islamist resurgence

Latest update : 2009-01-28

The Ethiopian government has ruled out sending troops back to Somalia despite a hardline Islamist group's takeover of Baidoa, the seat of the Somali parliament and the last town vacated by Ethiopian forces earlier this month.

AFP - Ethiopia on Tuesday ruled out sending its troops back to Somalia after hardline Islamists took over Baidoa, the seat of the country's parliament, following Addis Ababa's pull-out at the weekend.     

   

"Don't think that Ethiopian troops are ready again to step into Somalia, that is ruled out," Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin told journalists following a regional meeting here.
   
"But we will do everything for AMISOM and the Somali institutions to fight anarchy and this terrorist threat inside their country," he added, referring to the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
   
Baidoa, located some 250 kilometres (155 miles) northwest of the capital Mogadishu, was the last town to be vacated by Ethiopian troops.
   
It soon fell into the hands of the Shebab, a military youth wing of the main Islamist movement in the lawless Horn of Africa nation.
   
The Shebab had relentlessly fought the Ethiopian troops who rolled into Somalia to support a weak transitional government against the Islamist movement in late 2006.
 

Date created : 2009-01-28

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