Connect with us

Somalia News

South West Somalia Federal State Rejects Withdrawal of Ethiopian Troops, Says it “Wasn’t Consulted”



By: Hassan Adan

MOGADISHU: The regional government of South West Somalia has rejected a statements made by Somalia’s National Security Advisor on Friday evening regarding the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from the country.

In a statement posted on the South West State’s X, formerly Twitter account, the administration objected to claims that Ethiopian forces under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) will fully withdraw by the end of 2024 and won’t be allowed to become part of the next multinational forces.

“The Ethiopian troops of ATMIS have an important task, and we appreciate their contribution to the peacekeeping operation,” the statement read in part.

“They will continue to remain and play their role in the region.”

The statement accused “certain senior government officials” of using social media to spread “propaganda” about the withdrawal of Ethiopian forces. It noted that the South West state “was not consulted on this issue.”

Somalia’s National Security Advisor, Xuseen Macalin, announced that Ethiopian troops “will completely withdraw from the country” by the end of next year as part of the ATMIS transition plan. However, the South West state, one of Somalia’s regional administrations, has now firmly rejected this timeline.

The continued presence of Ethiopian troops in Somalia has been a point of contention, with some Somali leaders calling for a full withdrawal while others, like the South West state, regarding the Ethiopian military “as an essential partner to regional stability and security.

Somalia-Ethiopian diplomatic fall-out 

The announcement comes amidst a significant deterioration in diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and Somalia. This follows Ethiopia’s signing of a maritime pact with the Somaliland administration in January. 

The agreement grants Ethiopia sea access and a military base in Somaliland in exchange for potential recognition of the breakaway nation’s long-sought bid for sovereignty.

In response, the Somali government rejected the agreement. In April, Somalia expelled the Ethiopian ambassador, Muqtar Mohamed, and ordered the closure of Ethiopian “consulates” in Somaliland and Puntland.

As the ATMIS mission evolves, the dispute between the Federal Somali government and the South West administration underscores the complexities of security and political dynamics within the Horn of Africa country.


Your comments here:


Share it with your friends