Ethiopia has withdrawn troops from Somalia, where they had been battling Islamist militants. It blames a lack of international support for the move, following the EU's recent cut in its funding for foreign troops in Somalia.
Ethiopia is a major contributor of soldiers to the Amisom, the African Union mission in the country. Ethiopia has recently withdrawn from several other bases, which were quickly occupied by al-Shabab militants.
Officials in Somalia's Bakol region say some residents have already fled the area since the Ethiopian troops left, fearing an imminent of al-Shabab, which is part of al-Qaeda.
Ethiopian Communications Minister Getachew Reda told the BBC that the troops withdrawn from south-western Somalia were not part of Amisom.
"It is a separate batch deployed to provide support for Amisom and Somali armed forces," Mr Getachew said.