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Ethiopia troops vacate Baidoa

Ethiopia News
Source :Garowe online
Published on July 15,2013

BAIDOA, Somalia – Ethiopian troops stationed in Bay regional capital of Baidoa in southern Somalia handed over their military bases to AMISOM peacekeeping forces on Monday, Garowe Online reports.

The last battalions of Ethiopian troops left with their armored fighting vehicles, tanks and artillery trucks, according to eyewitnesses in Baidoa.

“Ethiopian troops stationed here began to vacate Baidoa yesterday [Sunday], they had three military bases and following their recent preparations, the last group of troops vacated Baidoa today,” witnesses said.

Local reports in Baidoa confirmed to Garowe Online that AMISOM peacekeeping forces immediately filled the military stations vacated by Ethiopian troops. “Some of the troops walked out by foot and they were vigilant because they feared attack by Al Shabaab militants during the withdrawal,” an eyewitness added.

On 10 July, Ethiopian troops vacated Bay regional districts of Bardale and Qansahdheere and their pullout was also felt in Baidoa as they retreated from major military bases including Hasey Factory station and 60th Somali Army Base.

Ethiopian troops intervened in Southern Somalia in Dec. 2006 and withdrew by Jan. 2009, but returned to Gedo, Bay, Bakool, Hiiraan and Galgadud border regions in early 2012 in support of Somali government’s stabilization operations.

In March 2013, Ethiopian troops vacated Huddur town of Bakool region, near the Ethiopian border, and Al Shabaab militants almost immediately seized control of Huddur to date.

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