Ethiopia ‘remains vigilant’ of al shabaab threats

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Addis Ababa, 25 February 2014 (WIC) – Ethiopia says it remains vigilant of al Shabaab threats amid reports of a major assault on the al-Qaeda linked Islamist group in Gedo region of Somalia.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Dina Mufti told WIC that military operations to defeat al Shabaab, jointly with AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) forces, are ongoing.


Ethiopian troops entered Somalia to counter the threats of al Shabaab in 2011 but formally joined AMISOM in January this year becoming the sixth African country to contribute troops for the AU mission.


The 4,000 Ethiopian troops are in charge of ‘sector 3’ and ‘sector 4’ encompassing the Bay, Bakool and Gedo regions of Somalia. Dina said these areas remain ‘relatively calmer’.


Somalia federal government and the AMISOM troops have reportedly continued a heavy military assault preparations to strike al Shabaab controlled regions in Gedo region. Dina declined to provide details of the operations.


Al Shabaab fighters still control many small towns and much of rural Somalia. Their tactics, however, are mostly restricted to suicide and roadside bombings, ambushes and rocket attacks.