SOMALIA: Ethiopian forces will remain in Somalia until new government, minister says
By; Abdalle Ahmed
Mogadishu (RBC) Ethiopia’s State Communications Minister Shimeles Kemal has told the reporters in Ethiopian capital on Friday that the Ethiopian forces will remain in Somalia until new government is elected in Somalia after August this year.
“Our forces will remain and will continue to assist the transitional federal government of Somalia until a new democratic government takes office.” Shimeles Kemal said during a press conference in Addis Ababa on Friday.
Mr. Kemal added that Ethiopian forces were acting as part of the ‘peace keeping mission’ in Somalia but were not part of the AMISOM mission.
“We are in Somalia to support the peace. The peace keepers will remain the new Somali government can control the security.” Shimeles Kemal added.
The Ethiopians already declined to be included the AU’s task in Somalia under the AMISOM mission.
The announcement of the Ethiopian minister came as Somalia’s transitional government is preparing to end the transition period which is due to last on August 2012 by forming new parliament that will elect new president.
The Ethiopian forces are now operating in several Somali regions including Gedo, Hiiraan and Galgaduud where they are battling against Al Shabaab fighters but realistically the local people of Somalia do not tend to see presence of Ethiopian troops in Somalia because of the long cultural and historic antagonism between the two countries.