Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

Somalia: Ethiopia Changes Its Tune in Somalia

analysis

Last year, Ethiopia wanted to get out of Somalia as quickly as possible. It didn't. This year, it has renewed its commitment to the beleaguered country - although, as usual, Ethiopia has its own interests at heart.

In April last year, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn was unequivocal in his intentions when it came to Somalia. Speaking to his parliament in Addis Ababa, he complained that Ethiopian troops had spent long enough across the border, and that it was time for them to come home. "The main issue now is to accelerate our complete withdrawal towards our border. This is what we are fulfilling," he said.

This was more than just talk. In March, frustrated that no one was relieving them of their duties, the Ethiopian army withdrew from the town of Hudur, which it had captured from Al Shabaab just a few weeks before. Mere hours after the Ethiopian withdrawal, Al Shabaab were back in charge in Hudur.

The withdrawal was the geopolitical equivalent of going on strike: a pointed warning that Ethiopia's contributions in Somalia could not be taken for granted.

Despite all this, Ethiopia did not withdraw from other parts of Somalia under its...

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2014 Daily Maverick. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.