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Ethiopia invaded Somalia in 2006 to fight the Union of Islamic courts that controlled most parts of South and central Somalia for one year.
JIGJIGA - Ethiopia announced an intention to push Al-Shabaab from its eastern border with Somalia following an attack that left dozens of Somali regional soldiers [Liyu police] dead last week
Mustafe Mohamed Omar [Agjar], the president of the Somali regional state said Ethiopian defense forces will cross into Somalia to create a buffer zone to tame rising Al-Shabaab terror assaults.
The President noted that the regional state will no longer wait for the Al-Shabaab to attack again, therefore they will fight the terrorists inside Somalia, where there is no strong government.
Our gallant soldiers dealt a heavy blow to the terrorists attacking the region, thanks to our people for their cooperation during the battle to defend our land. I hope this is a clear lesson for Al-Shabaab not to try this again," said Mustafe.
The regional authorities said the troops killed 85 militants in the thwarted rare attack. However, sources told Keydmedia Online that Al-Shabaab fighters are still active in Afdheer region and the border areas, including Yeed and Ato.
About 500 terrorists, including many who originally came from Ethiopia’s Somali and Oromia regions, entered Ethiopia last Wednesday, multiple security and former Al-Shabaab operatives told VOA Somali’s “The Investigative Dossier” program. The incursion is the militant group’s biggest-ever operation inside Ethiopia.
Ethiopia and Somalia share a long border that is difficult for both countries to protect due to the conflict and Al-Shabaab threat. The issue of the security Buffer zone that Mustafe has announced needs to be discussed with Somalia, as Al-Shabaab is the enemy of both countries.
Ethiopia has more than 4,000 troops in Somalia that are currently operating under the African Union mission and other non-ATMIS soldiers in the country who are stationed in different regions.