By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia will withdraw its troops from Somalia soon, its prime minister said on Tuesday, voicing frustration with the Mogadishu government and African Union peacekeeping forces that are also battling Islamist militants there.

After waging an ill-fated war in Somalia in 2006-2009, Ethiopia in 2011 once again rolled troops into Somalia to fight al Qaeda-allied al Shabaab, opening a third front alongside Kenyan troops and an African Union mission.

At the time Ethiopia pledged to stay in the war-ravaged country until Somali government could ratify a new constitution and its ragtag military was able to fend off the Islamist threat on its own.

However, last month Ethiopian troops unexpectedly withdrew from Hudur, the capital of Bakool province near the Ethiopian border, enabling al Shabaab to retake the dusty town.

Hailemariam Desalegn, who replaced Ethiopia’s long-serving Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in September, stopped short of announcing a full withdrawal but voiced concern with the pace of progress in Somalia, recovering from two decades of civil war.

“It has taken them (African peacekeepers and Somalia) a year already and they repeatedly assure us each month but fail to deliver so we pulled out,” said Hailemariam, referring to pledges by African Union’s Amisom force to replace Ethiopian troops.

“The main issue now is to accelerate our complete withdrawal towards our border. This is what we are fulfilling,” he told Ethiopia’s parliament.

Hailemariam said Addis Ababa was paying for its military mission in Somalia from its own coffers and Western diplomats say financial issues are one of the main reasons behind Ethiopia’s discontent, along with strained relations with Mogadishu and Amisom.

African countries which sent troops into Somalia under the Amisom banner are compensated by the African Union but Ethiopian troops do not operate within that framework.

Al Shabaab has been greatly weakened since late September when Kenyan troops forced it to withdraw from the port of Kismayu, its last major urban stronghold.

But analysts say they doubt Ethiopia is set for a full withdrawal and Hailemariam suggested Ethiopia could continue its fight against al Shabaab, but in other parts of Somalia.

“Somalia is one of Ethiopia’s main security interest zones, so I don’t think they would change policy drastically,” said one Nairobi-based Western diplomat.

“It’s in Ethiopia’s own interest that Somalia stays intact and that gains achieved are not lost once again.”

 Source: Reuters


  1. Ethiopia have been saying that for years ! Every few months they reiterate they are to pull out their troops !

    They are gonna be in South-Somalia for the next 500 years !

  2. Ethiopian troops on Somali soils apparently don't receive compensations from the UN for their work, however, the other African troops on the same tasks in the same location do. As a result the ethiopian PM isn't happy about the arrangement so as he said he wanted to pull his men and women in uniform out from the harms way. this isn't the first time that the Ethiopian government has addressed this issue in public.

    Thus, since a final appeal was made to the IC again, one of 2 things will come out in the favor of Ethiopia of which either Ethiopian soldiers in Somalia get compensated handsomely for their assignments in Somalia through the UN effective immediately or Ethiopia will help itself by tapping into Somalia's natural resources as a method of payment.

    Ethiopia would neither put its troops at risk for free nor pull out its troops willing out of the volatile Somalia with empty handed. Anyone who thinks otherwise, should think again..

  3. IT's quite probable that Ethiopia is serious and means it this time for good, Interestingly for
    a whole hosts of new envisaged policies and politics in the Horn and beyond. For todays politics
    and yesterdays are constantly shifting. Who knows what are in the minds of the Ethiopians???

  4. No Ethiopia troops or any foreign other foreign troopscould bring peace and governance to Somalia-Italiano. Unless the disparate and fragmented people ofthat land face reality and lookfor internal solution, there will never be peace, governance or any semblance of order there. People of Somalia-Italian need top face reality and not depend on foreign troops. Read about Veitnam, LKorea, Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan and other place foreugn troops were heavily involved, no peace never happened there.

  5. Buxiye dilusionist+ Hamsa,

    kkk, what you have to realize is the Ethiopian are also in Hargiesa telling them Hargiesa council what to do on weekly bases. so, before you comment do your research.

    • @ Jama Fartaag

      This is what makes me think you guys are really insane. Are you claiming that we have Ethiopian troops in Hargiesa? What are you exactly talking about?

      You think Ethiopia (a third world country) can force us not to safeguard our Somaliland-interests first, and instead serve Ethiopia?

      If you are talking about Somaliland-Ethiopia collaborations, then you need to understand our interests come first, and we don't mind collaborating with Ethiopia to safeguard our security. We are ready to collaborate with anyone to safeguard the security of Somaliland.

      My friend, we are Somalilanders and we are proud of what we have, we fight for our country and people first, Alhamdullilah. When I say fight, please note that I do not mean by using "violence", violence is a last resource and is used as self-defence only.

      You must be barking mad my brother !

      • hamza,

        of course Ethiopia do not have boot on ground in Hargiesa, they don't have to because everything they say Hargiesa admin will implement in full, they have a lot of spies on the ground in this way will cost them less to run their operation in Hargiesa.

        Most Somali regions collaborate with Ethiopia, long time ago it use to be only s/land and Puntland now even mogadishu do, it's sad but that is the reality.

      • Worse they have their generals and intelligent services in Hargeisa monitoring the secessionist day and night to see if they are being disobedient to Aids Ababa free usage to the Berbera port

  6. Osman Qaal,

    Your clueless reading your comment. the Ethiopian government were told to join AMISON and they refuse, how do expect they will get Paid same as AMISON since they rejected?.if they join officially AMISON than they will get PAID as simple as that, but if they continue this sort of games pulling out than pulling in arming Al-shabab the WORLD will focus on them with big telescope.

    Let me break for piece by piece so at least you could understand, Ethiopia refuse for this reasons

    > The reality is Ethiopia do not want to follow the rules and regulation AMISON in somalia if that happen than somalis have good chance becoming more stable.

    > As one Ethiopian once said, this is very good opportunity once in a life time for Ethiopia to keep Somalis off balance long time to come.

    • Maxamed ali
      My point was and still is; Ethiopia must get paid for this its effort in Somalia one way or another. There's no such a free lunch… Somalis have created a monster for themselves. Perhaps it's time to stop playing the victim card continuously..

      • You haven't get the point here, no one is refusing to pay the Ethiopian even when Ethiopia came to Mogadishu late 2006 the whole operation was Paid and sponsor by the American. why not now? ask this question yourself.

        The Ethiopian government refuse completely be part of AMISOM, also Ethiopian were told AMISOM has a mission and full mandate from UN to stabilize Somalia everyone should follow these rules then Ethiopian government said we don't want be part of AMISOM but we will help AMISOM.

        They can't have both ways Paid in full the sometime not abiding AMISOM rules.

        By the way how is your "recognition"? still looking, it looks becoming more and more looking needle in a haystack.

        • I gathered that you’re trying to argue whether Ethiopia gets paid its effort in Somalia by the US or the UN. Who gives a dumb who pays to whom? Somalia invited Ethiopia to assist with Somalia’s internal problems. That’s an unprecedented move in Somali history. So, please quit the he said she said circle of utter nonsense and try to man-handle the monster you have created for yourselves. You should be ashamed to yourselves..
          By the way, our international recognnition is nearing, just follow the current updates..

          • Look mate don't be like JACKAROO be more civilize. you raise this question Ethiopian army should be paid since serving in somalia, i did give full answer if you understand anything. the whole purpose Ethiopia is pulling out is ( Ethiopia can sustain financially stay in Somalia) so it comes down to money.

            of course Somalis invited Ethiopian specially Islamic court since they declare war on Ethiopia. bare in mind also Ethiopia dictates what s/land should do.

            About the recognition, that case is buried.

          • It isn’t healthy to live in the past and use your own failures as excuses. Islamic courts are no longer in control. As your so called president who was elected by the way a bunch of warlords behind closed doors is now at the helm. How come he doesn’t have the guts to ask the Ethiopian troops to leave if they refused to play the same rules like everybody else?
            My common sense tells perhaps he isn't in charge afterall.

            Additionally, Somaliland and Ethiopia share common interests and mutual respect where Somalia is considered a common playground in Africa.
            The reason I said it's a common place because If one seeks a place to damp a toxic nuclear waste, or decides to commit illegal fishing activities or wants to steal a large deposits of precious metals, Somalia always is the first choice, why is that?

          • This looks your going off line now, usually people who live and breath in the past are Isaqs always complaining what happen 25 years ago not the folks from south. who ever elected him he's there now not doing great Jop. somaliland election is similar if not worst one tribe election system, when election time comes in somaliland or part of northern somalia always ballot boxes stolen kick back is common. to answer your question, how come Mr Culusow did mot ask the Ethiopian to leave or play the same rules? well, he haven't get the power to do so. same question goes to Siilanyo somaliland admin, why sillanyo or Somaliland region always obey and follow Ethiopian government instructions? ask this question yourself before you judge others.

            To be honest, Somaliland and Ethiopia have nothing in common, one is a country with 84 million people recognize internationally, the other one is region of Somalia run by one, let's cut this crap.

            All these issues, toxic nuclear waste damp, illegal fishing activities occurs from all parts of Somali peninsula not certain area.

  7. I say good and hope the door hits you hard on your way out next should be Nairobbery.

    Thousands of SNA have been highly trained in Uganda by the Europeans it's time for Mogadishu to tell the IC who were giving these Aids Ababans the money to stabilize Somalia but instead used it to destabilize Somalia that they now should relocate that money to the those SNA.

    If they don't then still fight AQ/Shabaab and the nationalist side of Shabaab with behind the scenes negotiating with the nationalist side only (which actually is the one doing most of the fighting nowadays against this government nowadays) by giving them some acceptable concessions just to get them to stop fighting Mogadishu immediately.

      • Ethiopia and Kenya must immediately leave our Country. They are not welcome, we view them as enemies who do not have any desire for Somalia to get peace and a strong government. Ethiopia is the one that has annexed Berbera because the slave group they made(SNM) rules there. Kenya wants now to annex Kismaayo and do whatever they want with our Port thanks to the slave group Raskambonu that controls there.Somalia and its people are better off without the occupation abbasinains, we will raise again as one stron nation enough to stop the the foriegn agrression paticularly the enemy of Somali Nation, we will safe gaurd the somali borders from any foriegn countries, particularly the old enemy Ethiopia and its slaves(silanyo&faroole).

      • Why blame Ethiopia? blame Moryan led mission in Mogadishu can not even control Mogadishu let alone whole of somalia. also they beg Ethiopia to stay while they show some naive Somalis "we are nationalist". they can lie but no one is buying.

        Mogadishu will never be again the control center of all Somalia those days are over gone for good. my prediction is becoming more clear by the day.

        • Are you really asking why?The only thing somalis will unite is to fight against ethiopia. Mogadishu is doing well compared to other cities . It is prospering more and business is coming back. I agree that the Goverment in Mogadishu is not asserting its control over its territory yet but it shall expand in the near future. The thing that you need to understand is that not everyone is going to get what they want. Somalia has been in 22years of civil war do you think in a year the threat of Alshabab,Piracy and tribalism to disapear over night. This Goverment has limited resources and cannot do as it pleases.Im guessing you know the history of Somalia and the only way in which we can succeed is if we comprimise. No clan or group is comprimising.

          • kfc bro sadly people like Mohamed got that mentality of if my clan don't rule then up yours to the others.

          • I think your having some sort of hallucination, Somalis can be united without going to work with Ethiopia. it's the duty of every Somali to help oppressed Somalis but last when we want to war with Ethiopia the whole world turn against us after that we know what happen. Ethiopia nor Kenyans did not come to Mogadishu looted destroy on broad daylight everything, we know who done it. so, this fake drum let's go to war is totally misleading, today Somalis it self it's in war because of this leadership. a person who never led political party, never understood how Somali society fabric works, spent all his life as an NGO. the NGO they are good building schools helping and so forth, but Somalia need more than that not constructing few walls drilling couple of water wells. Somalia is very sick patient they need good doctor not someone who is creating more havoc.

            This has nothing to do about resources currently Somalia do not have enough of that to go around, also s/land, Puntland are getting their Aid directly next all autonomous states will follow. the construction happening in Mogadishu will not stay there all Major cities within federal republic will be build. the IC decided that, if you think development will only confine Mogadishu than you need good coffee. the whole point conference in London 7th of May is how the IC will distribute the AID given to Somalia all over Somalia. so, infrastructure will spread most Somali cities it will not be like OLD days "Mogadishu commend center".

            Someone mentioned if your clan not ruling than your not interest Somalia. well, that is not the case, can someone tell me how far Mr Culusow his orders go? i guess not far enough this shows Today Somalia it's not only Mogadishu.

  8. This is never going to happen, we the dhulbahantes wil never allow a drop of oil given away to DNO, Somaliland or any other entity that does not represent the people of Khatumo State of Somalia.
    The land belong to us. Buuxiye you are the internet fighter, always commenting like you own that land. Have you ever been in Lasanod, Xudun, Kalshaale, Buhoodle, Kalabaydh, Holhol,Taleex, Sarmaayo, fiqifule, Tukaraq or any other towns in these regions?? The answer is now, I travel there every year and I see the blue somali flag waving high in each of these towns Except Lasanod And inshallah soon the blue flag will wave there as well.

    Back to DNO and the oil deal, this is old news like Puntland selling Nugaal valley to Africa Oil. When did they drill in Khatumo? when did they try to survey the land of Dhulbahante? this is nothing more than DNO making a hype so the shares price can go up for a moment. nothing for people of Somaliland but maybe few bucks for Siilanyo and his stooges.

    Be rational for oil to be drilled in a land where to army are sitting few hundred meters away? sounds stupid to me. And be sure the Dhulbahantes living all over the world will do what ever in their power to stop this nonsense virtual land stealing.