Ethiopia withdraws troops from Somalia while the Tigrayans attack airports2020-11-14 19:43:00 Written by Simon Marks Published in English Articles Read 140 times
Two separate reports.
The first from Bloomberg
Ethiopia Withdraws Thousands of Troops From Neighboring Somalia
13 November 2020, 14:13 GMT
- Soldiers being redeployed to help offensive in Tigray region
- U.S. president has also announced plans for troop withdrawal
Ethiopia pulled back thousands of troops who’ve been helping Somalia’s government fight an Islamist insurgency, according to three people familiar with the matter, raising concerns of a security vacuum in the war-torn nation.
Their departure from Somalia comes as federal soldiers continue to battle forces loyal to the ruling party in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray. Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump told top advisers he’s also considering extracting U.S. troops from Somalia.
Ethiopia is redeploying about 3,000 troops to help with the Tigray offensive, the people said, asking not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak to the media. The troops being withdrawn are Ethiopian National Defence Force soldiers and don’t fall under the command of the 5,000-strong African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia, they said.
A spokesman for the Office of the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia referred all questions to Ethiopian authorities. Redwan Hussein, state foreign minister and spokesperson for the Emergency Task Force in charge of the conflict, did not respond to questions on Ethiopia’s bilateral troops with Somalia.
Al-Qaeda-linked militants have waged an insurgency in Somalia since 2006 in a bid to impose their version of Islamic law. The group continues to carry out suicide bombings and other attacks in the Horn of Africa country despite being the target of frequent U.S. drone strikes, and the Somali government retains a weak grip on power.
The U.S. has 650 to 800 troops in Somalia, according to the U.S. Africa Command, including special forces that are helping train Somalia’s army.
Source: Addis Standard
NEWS: ROCKET ATTACKS DAMAGE AIRPORT AREAS IN BAHIR DAR, GONDER CITIES, GOVERNMENT BLAMES TPLF
Bahir Dar airport, known as Ginbot 20 Airport, is located some 8 km west of the city,
near the Lake Tana; while Gonder’s Atse Tewodros Airport is located
some 18 km south of of the city.
Addis Abeba, November 14/2020 – The federal government said a rocket was fired “in the late hours of November 13, 2020 towards Bahir Dar and Gondar cities. As a result, the airport areas have sustained damages.”
A statement published on “Ethiopia State of Emergency Fact Check”, a newly opened Facebook page by the federal government, blamed “the TPLF junta” for the attack and said it “is repairing and utilizing the last of the weaponry within its arsenals. This is indicative of TPLF’s last resort attempts to maintain control,” the government said.
Last night the several residents of the two cities posted updates on social media that there were explosions and exchanges of gun fires in the cities. Bahir Dar airport, known as Ginbot 20 Airport, is located some 8 km west of the city, near the Lake Tana; while Gonder’s Atse Tewodros Airport is located some 18 km south of of the city.
The Amhara regional government communication Affairs office released a statement that although “there were explosions in Bahir Dar, special place called Mecod and in Gonder city, special place called Azezo, security forces have put them under control within few minutes.” It also said there were no power cuts in both cities and both cities were peaceful and added the incident would be fully investigated.
The Amhara regional state broadcaster AMMA quoted the regional government as saying that “because the enemy is using its full force to inflict terror acts [and] cognizant of the war we are in, communities should calmly safeguard themselves and their neighborhoods vigilantly.” Without giving details, it also cautioned the people in the regional state that “similar acts may occur again.”
Without giving specifics about the said rocket attacks, a statement published on the official Facebook page of TPLF said that it has placed the “Northern Command” of the national defense forces under its control and will use “the force of its weapons to wipe out enemies” of the people of Tigray.
The federal government said the “details of the incident is currently under investigation and further details will be provided accordingly.”