AU confirms Ethiopia will join Somali mission


Ethiopian troops picture during a ceremony held in Mogadishu in January 2007.

Ambassador Smal Chergui, the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security, has confirmed that Ethiopian troops will join the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), but the extent to which this represents a real increase in the foreign military presence in the east African country remains unclear.

Chergui told a meeting of the AU’s Committee on Defence, Safety and Security in Addis Ababa on 14 January: “With Ethiopia joining the mission … the mission strength will now be about 22,000 uniformed personnel.

“This will enable us, together with our brothers in arms from Somalia, to resume military operations against the terrorist group Al-Shabaab, in order to create favourable conditions for further progress in the political process and the successful holding of elections in 2016”.