Hundreds of heavily armed Ethiopian troops have crossed into Somalia to provide reinforcements to the Somali government against the Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen. Residents in the border town of Dolow, in Somalia’s Gedo region, say they saw at least 30 vehicles carrying Ethiopian troops crossing into Somalia late Tuesday. Therefore, it is estimated that approximately 1000 Ethiopian soldiers crossed into Somalia to aid with the anti-al Shabaab campaign.
Ethiopia is already a force-contributing country to AMISOM and as such the additional soldiers are in swift response to the recent call my Somali President for a massive offensive against the al Shabaab who orchestrated a deadly truck bomb that killed over 350 people last month. In advance of the assault, the Somali government’s top leaders and the leaders of Somalia’s federal member states are meeting in Mogadishu for a second day to resolve political differences over the recent Saudi Arabia-Qatar diplomatic dispute.
The increased presence of the troops in the areas is set to bolster the stability and security of Somalia as they wait for the official launch and operational details of the massive onslaught against the al Shabaab soon.