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Somalia Pushes for Ethiopian Troop Withdrawal Amid Diplomatic Tensions over Port Deal

Ethiopian troops raise flags in Somalia ahead of battle with Al-Shabaab

Somali government is pressing for the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from the country by the year’s end, amidst escalating diplomatic tensions over a controversial port access deal Ethiopia inked with the breakaway Somaliland region.

The announcement was made by Somalia’s National Security Advisor, Hussein Maalim, who emphasized the imperative for Ethiopian forces to exit Somali territory by the end of December 2024.

This call comes amidst a diplomatic row sparked by Addis Ababa’s recent agreement with Somaliland, granting access to strategic ports.

In a post on X formerly known as Twitter on Saturday, Maalim reiterated that Ethiopian troops would not be included in the African Union (AU)-led forces post the ATMIS mission, slated to conclude later this year.

Somalia is currently engaged in negotiations with international partners to establish a multinational force, slated to commence operations in January 2025.

Expected to comprise contingents from Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, and Burundi, the proposed force aims to bolster security and stability in Somalia.

Meanwhile, the demand for Ethiopian troops withdrawal is seen as a move reflective of Somalia’s assertive stance amidst regional tensions.

There has been no comment from Ethiopian officials regarding Somalia’s demand.

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