Ethiopia to Withdraw Its Troops from Somalia

Ethiopian peacekeeping forces stationed in Somalia are expected to leave the country by December 2024.

Ethiopia is one of the countries that have contributed peacekeeping troops to Somalia under the umbrella of the African Union to combat the Al-Shabaab terrorist group. Other contributing countries include Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, and Burundi.

Somalia has announced that it expects all Ethiopian soldiers on a peacekeeping mission in its country to be completely withdrawn by December 2024.

Hussein Sheikh Ali, National Security Adviser to the President of Somalia, told VOA that after the end of the African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) mission in December 2024, “Ethiopian soldiers will not be part of the African Union-led force.”

He added that starting next year, there will be no Ethiopian soldiers in the army stationed in Somalia, with Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, and Burundi remaining as the contributing countries.

Thousands of Ethiopian soldiers are currently participating in the mission to fight Al-Shabaab under the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

According to a United Nations Security Council decision, these peacekeeping forces will leave Somalia in December.

However, there is a possibility that a peacekeeping force could be established to control the main population centers, the United Nations Organization, and key government institutions after the current force departs.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the President of the self-declared independent Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi, signed a memorandum of understanding on the port issue in Addis Ababa on January 1, 2024.

This agreement allows Ethiopia to gain ownership of the port, while Somaliland would be recognized as a country, causing significant anger and opposition in Somalia, which considers Somaliland to be its sovereign territory.

A month ago, Somalia announced that the Ethiopian ambassador had to leave Mogadishu within 72 hours and that the consular offices in Hargeisa and Garowe were to be closed, with staff required to leave Somalia within two weeks.

This decision was opposed by Somaliland and Puntland, which declared their opposition to the Somali government’s decision to close the consulates in Hargeisa and Garowe.

In response to the Somaliland-Ethiopia port agreement, Somalia signed a military agreement with Turkey to protect its seaports.

According to this agreement, Turkey will protect the Somali Sea. When asked whether Ethiopia would hinder the implementation of the agreement between Somalia and Turkey, Ethiopia stated that it was not concerned about the agreement between the two countries.


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