Ethiopia Rotates Its AU Troops In Somalia
The Ethiopian troops serving in Somalia as parts of the African Union forces fighting the Al-Qaeda-linked militants have been rotated to have new troops deployed in the country after a year-long service, officials said.
The troops who managed ousting militants from key strongholds are expected to head for home this week.
At a farewell ceremony in the south-western town of Baidoa where they served on Saturday, local officials glorified their service, urging the new troops to help training local forces.
"You have been heroes, caring and helped us to stand strong." Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, the president of the Baidoa based south-western state told the departing soldiers.
Mr. Hassan has on the other hand expressed dismay at the recent deadly siege at Maka Almukarrama hotel in Mogadishu, calling on Somalis to unite against their enemies, referring the Al-Shabab group.
The neighboring Ethiopia has long been a key anti militants' front, crushing multiple attempts by Islamist groups to take over Somalia.
Ethiopia first invaded Somalia late 2006 after the powerful Islamic Courts Union group threatened an invasion against Ethiopia, prompting Ethiopia to invade Somalia and crushed the Islamist group.
Ethiopia pulled out of Somalia in 2009 after a peace deal between UIC leaders and Somali government in Djibouti, however, its troops re-entered Somalia after the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab group expanded its areas of control across Somalia, by seizing large swathes in south and central Somalia.