October 12, 2016
Ethiopian forces withdrew from El-Ali town in central Hiiraan region of Somalia, reported Amharic Service of of America.
No explanation is given as to why they deserted the town except words from military officers that they were ordered to do so. AFP report published today indicated that Ethiopian military base in the town was shelled by Al-Shebab artillery before they withdrew. From this same report, hundreds of Ethiopian troops were based in the town of El-Ali.
The forces reportedly implemented scorched earth policy in order to deny Al-Shabab forces advantage to use facilities in El-Ali.
Al-Shabab forces,according to VOA Amharic, controlled the town following withdrawal of Ethiopian forces. Earlier in the week Ethiopian forces also abandoned the town of Moqokori in Hiiraan – reported VOA Amharic citing Kenyan News Paper,the Daily Nation.
Somalian government troops,according to VOA Amharic, has intentions to engage Al-Shabab fighters in the towns abandoned by Ethiopian troops but no time frame is set for it.
Although Ethiopian military presence in Somalia predates African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), it is current existence in Somalia is part of Africa Union’s mission (AMISOM.)
Troop deployment to Somalia is one of the unpopular policies of the ruling party. Ethiopia itself is in a continuous unprecedented protest in 25 years.