Tigrai Online, May 22, 2012
Addis Ababa: Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said that his military is looking to gain more ground from Al-Shabab in southern Somalia, media reported on Monday.
According to reports Prime Minister Meles Zenawi stated that the Ethiopian troops deployed in south central Somalia a preparing to increase the onslaught against Al Shabaab, so they can drive out Al Shabaab insurgents remaining in southern regions.
“We are committed to strengthening the battle against Al Shabaab in south central and southern Somalia,” the Prime Minister said.
According to the Prime Minister, Ethiopia has had a great deal of experience in suppressing and limiting the ability of insurgent groups to thrive.
Prime Minister Zenawi suggested that Kismayo, a major Al Shabaab stronghold 500 kms south of Mogadishu could be the next operation for the Ethiopian troops. “Our troops have forced Al Shabaab from a large part of land in south central Somalia, and soon we will take over more key strongholds,” said Prime Minister Zenawi.
Prime Minister Zenawi last month, stated that his troops would leave Somalia as soon as the threat of Al Shabaab diminishes. Analysts who spoke to Garowe Online said that both countries especially Kenya who has never deployed troops to Somalia, may have underestimated Al Shabaab.
Last year Ethiopian troops were deployed to parts of Somalia and since then have been able to force Al Shabaab from their major strongholds in southern Somalia. Baidoa and Beledweyne were two key cities that Ethiopian troops were able to uproot Al Shabaab from.
Source: News Tribe