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14 octobre 2015 3 14 /10 /octobre /2015 07:45
A Red Roman trailer

A Red Roman trailer

 

13 October 2015 by defenceWeb

 

Local surveillance company Desert Wolf has shipped the first five of its Red Roman WiFi communication trailers to Ethiopia. A total of 25 systems will be deployed on behalf of an international organisation.

 

Hennie Kieser, Managing Director of Desert Wolf, told defenceWeb that the first five trailers were ordered on 3 July. Total project cost is around R7 million. They are being delivered in batches of five as five can be fitted into a single 40 foot shipping container.

 

Desert Wolf is equipping the Red Roman trailers with masts, batteries etc. while the communications equipment will be installed by the customer with a team of Desert Wolf going to Addis Ababa to support the customer.

 

Kieser said the first five trailers will arrive in Addis Ababa in two weeks’ time.

 

The Red Roman trailer accommodates electronic equipment in a vibration damped 19 inch rack mount, with cooling by either forced air flow with DC fans or an air conditioner. It comes with a solar power system and a 2 kW petrol generator with a battery backup. The surveillance mast tilts for easy sensor attachment. Desert Wolf said the system is ideal for small to medium surveillance systems and can accommodate a 1.8 metre satellite dish.

 

Desert Wolf stainless steel trailers are in use with the South African Police service and have been bought by oil companies, municipalities, airports, research institutions, the South African National Defence Force, British Defence Force and United Nations amongst many others. In addition to trailers, Desert Wolf offers trailer manufacturing and sales licenses.

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6 octobre 2015 2 06 /10 /octobre /2015 16:45
General Rodriguez commander of U.S. Africa Command

General Rodriguez commander of U.S. Africa Command

 

05 October 2015 by Africom - defenceWeb

 

The commander of U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Army Gen. David Rodriguez, finished a weeklong trip to Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs Amanda Dory Oct. 2. Dory and Rodriguez met with officials in each country to discuss how AFRICOM and the U.S. Department of Defense can continue to help partner nations strengthen their military capacity.  “Defense cooperation is one of our core missions at U.S. Africa Command because we know that partnering with African states and regional organizations to constantly improve their capabilities and knowledge is important in addressing shared security challenges,” Rodriguez said.

 

Legions of Merit for AMISOM Support

Rodriguez also presented the Legion of Merit to six officers from the Uganda People’s Defence Force Sept. 30. The recipients are among less than 200 foreign citizens who’ve received the U.S. award and the first from Uganda. The awards specifically recognized the Ugandan officers for contributing to the African Union Mission in Somalia, known as AMISOM, which is charged with reducing the threat of violent extremist organizations like al-Shabbab. First deployed in March 2007, the AMISOM military component has achieved significant territorial gains against the al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group al-Shabaab.  “Continued support to AMISOM is one of the important multinational efforts in place today. As a result of improved security, the Somali people and government have greater opportunities to make progress in the development of governance and economic institutions,” Rodriguez said. In 2014, the Ugandan People’s Defense Force liberated the port city of Barawe, Somalia, cutting off al-Shabaab’s access to what was a base and source of revenue. The UPDF also foiled a major al-Shabaab terrorist attack in Kampala. In Kenya, Rodriguez and Dory oversaw the formal establishment of the Massachusetts National Guard as the U.S. military partner for Kenya as part of the Defense Department’s State Partnership Program Oct. 1. The State Partnership Program is a coordinated effort between the Defense Department, the Department of State, the National Guard Bureau and the combatant commands where the partnered efforts occur.  “Our shared objective is to build professional militaries that, not only are capable of delivering on security priorities, but also respect human rights and adhere to the rule of law,” Rodriguez said. The partnership between the Massachusetts National Guard and Kenya is one of 12 ongoing state partnerships in Africa.  “AFRICOM recognizes the importance of partnership. A stable Africa ultimately means greater opportunities for collaboration toward shared goals and values that bind all our countries together,” Rodriguez said.

 

Recognizing Partner Efforts

During the trip Rodriguez also discussed how partner militaries in Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia support regional security:

Djiboutian training for the Somali National Army has strengthened Somalia’s capacity to defend its government and its people from al-Shabaab. In addition, Djibouti hosts Camp Lemonnier, the sole enduring presence for the U.S. military in Africa.

The Ethiopian National Defense Force contributes troops in support of United Nations peacekeeping forces worldwide, making it the fourth largest contributor globally and the largest in Africa.

With support from the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense, the Somali Armed Forces continue to make progress in partnership with AMISOM to secure ungoverned space, defeat al-Shabaab, and create the conditions for a peaceful Somalia.

Rodriguez said Africa is home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world, and global leaders are increasingly recognizing the power of Africa’s diversity in people, resources and economies.

 “The link between security and prosperity is undeniable. For this reason, President Obama also identified building defense capacity among African partners as essential to advancing peace and security on the continent. As it works to meet these challenges, Africa is full of opportunity and promise and is becoming a major international player in world security,” Rodriguez added.

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4 octobre 2015 7 04 /10 /octobre /2015 11:45
A Scan Eagle UAV

A Scan Eagle UAV

 

02 October 2015 by defenceWeb

 

Five African countries will receive 62 armoured personnel carriers manufactured by Mack Defense of the United States under a contract awarded by the United States Army in support of US Africa Command, while another six countries will receive Oskosh military trucks and two will receive Scan Eagle UAVs.

 

The US Department of Defence announced the armoured vehicle contract on 25 September, which will see Mack Defense of Allentown, Pennsylvania, supplying the vehicles to Cameroon, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tunisia and Uganda.

 

The firm fixed-price foreign military sales contract is worth $24 974 528 and covers armoured personnel carriers in both left-hand and right-hand drive as well as common spare parts.

 

Work will be performed in France with an estimated completion date of 30 December 2016. Bids were solicited via the Internet with seven received. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity.

 

In July the United States Army announced it would seek between 19 and 400 new armoured personnel carriers for the US military’s Africa Command. The presolicitation notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website, stated that the vehicles should be 2015 or later year models and have a minimum seating capacity for ten passengers. They should also have B7 360-degree ballistic protection (against armour piercing 7.62 mm rounds), 4x4 drivetrain with a V-hull chassis design, manual transmission, mechanically-controlled, high-sulphur (5,000 ppm) diesel engine in both left-hand drive and right-hand drive and operator manuals in English and French or Arabic.

 

The estimated three-year combined vehicle quantities in year one are 155, year two 125, and year three 120.

 

Also on 25 September the US Department of Defense announced it had awarded Oshkosh Defense LLC a $21 774 963 modification to an existing foreign military sales contract for Djibouti, Jordan, Kenya, Tunisia, Uganda and Ethiopia for an additional 84 Medium Tactical Vehicle trucks and 59 B-kits (supplemental armour).

 

The estimated completion date of the truck contract is 28 February 2017.

 

Oskosh offers its Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles in a variety of configurations, such as five ton tractor, 8.8 ton Load Handling System, 4x4 and 6x6 cargo, ten ton dump truck and five ton wrecker.

 

One of the other contracts awarded late last month include the delivery of one Insitu Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system (comprising multiple aircraft) to Kenya and another to Cameroon. In-country work will be carried out in Nanyuki in central Kenya and the Cameroonian port city of Doula. Both contracts are expected to be completed by September 2016.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 17:45
US confirms Ethiopian C-130E Hercules donation

 

27 February 2015 by defenceWeb

 

United States embassy officials in Addis Ababa have confirmed that the Ethiopian government has received a single Lockheed C-130E Hercules transport aircraft from the United States for tactical airlift of troops and equipment to support Ethiopian participation in AU and UN peacekeeping operations.

 

The aircraft was previously operated by the Puerto Rico National Guard where it was flown by the 198th Airlift Squadron, according to Air Forces Daily. After retirement from the US Air Force, it was put in storage at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, in September, 2013, having flown a total of 22 739 flight hours. Early the following year it was taken out of storage and prepared for delivery to Ethiopia. The aircraft in early June 2014 flew to Ethiopia, making stops in Canada and the United Kingdom.

 

A statement from the US embassy in Addis Ababa said the donation came with full training support for Ethiopian pilots, technicians and engineers with specially focused programmes on navigation and maintenance processes. An embassy spokesperson said there are no existing plans to provide any additional aircraft.

 

The Ethiopian Air Force’s 15 Squadron has flown C-130s since 1998 when it received two former US Air Force C-130Bs and later two commercial L100-30 variants that were previously operated by the Ethiopian Government. It is not clear if the aircraft are still operational.

 

The C-130 is a welcome boost to the Ethiopian Air Force after it lost an Antonov An-12 in a crash at Mogadishu International Airport on 9 August 2013. The aircraft was delivering ammunition to help the Somali government combat al Shabaab militants.

 

The Ethiopian Air Force has also lost a number of aircraft to neighbouring Eritrea and Kenya through defecting pilots and technicians. In December, a senior air force pilot, his co-pilot and a technician escaped Ethiopia in the Mi-35 attack helicopter they were flying on a training mission and landed in the Eritrean town of Aishidada where they were granted political asylum. Since last year, Ethiopia has been trying to use diplomatic channels at various levels to secure the return of its aircraft but to no avail.

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30 juin 2014 1 30 /06 /juin /2014 17:45
FFDJ : un stage multinational au CECAD

 

30/06/2014 Sources : EMA

 

Du 23 au 30 mai 2014, une soixantaine de stagiaires français, américains éthiopiens, ainsi qu’un officier supérieur ougandais et un officier comorien ont effectué un stage au Centre d’entraînement au combat et d’aguerrissement de Djibouti (CECAD), armé par les Forces française stationnées à Djibouti (FFDj).

 

Dirigé par dix instructeurs du 5e régiment interarmes d’outre-mer (5e RIAOM), cet entrainement avait pour objectif de renforcer les capacités opérationnelles au combat en zone désertique. Durant leur séjour au CECAD, les stagiaires ont acquis des savoir-faire tactiques et techniques, individuels et collectifs.

 

La barrière de la langue et les conditions climatiques extrêmes ont été une véritable épreuve pour les stagiaires français et étrangers. Malgré ces difficultés, chacun a su profiter des conseils et des instructions prodigués par les instructeurs français pour repousser ses limites physiques et mentales.

 

L'aguerrissement au CECAD s'appuie sur trois piliers : la connaissance du milieu, comprenant la capacité à vivre et survivre en zone semi-désertique (nomadisation) ; le combat en zone semi-désertique, avec notamment le combat de contre-rébellion ; l’entraînement de type commando. Les stagiaires ont donc suivi les différents modules du centre, tels que les pistes d’audace et nautique, les formations à la survie en milieu désertique (s’abriter, s’hydrater, s’alimenter, se déplacer) et la révision des fondamentaux du combat et du secourisme au combat.

 

Dans le cadre des accords de défense entre la République de Djibouti et la France, les forces françaises stationnées à Djibouti (FFDj) constituent depuis 2011 la base opérationnelle avancée française sur la côte Est de l’Afrique. Les FFDj participent au dispositif militaire français prépositionné permettant de disposer d’un réservoir de forces pouvant être projetées rapidement en cas de crise. Parmi leurs missions, les FFDj apportent également un soutien logistique essentiel au profit des bâtiments français et étrangers engagés dans les opérations de lutte contre la piraterie, notamment l’opération Atalante. Ce soutien concerne aussi la République de Djibouti dans le cadre de sa mobilisation contre la piraterie. Les FFDj bénéficient enfin d'une capacité d’entraînement permanente, avec comme principal « outil » le centre d’entraînement au combat et d’aguerrissement de Djibouti (CECAD) qui accueille des unités permanentes ou en mission de courte durée des FFDj, des unités ou écoles de métropole, ainsi que les forces armées djiboutiennes et étrangères.

FFDJ : un stage multinational au CECADFFDJ : un stage multinational au CECAD
FFDJ : un stage multinational au CECADFFDJ : un stage multinational au CECAD

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13 mars 2014 4 13 /03 /mars /2014 17:45
Kenya Defence Force troops near Kismayu in Somalia

Kenya Defence Force troops near Kismayu in Somalia

 

 

13 March 2014 defenceWeb (Reuters)

 

African Union peacekeepers and the Somali army have begun a major offensive against al Shabaab militants, the U.N.'s Special Representative to Somalia said on Wednesday, urging donors to fund logistical support.

 

U.N.-backed peacekeepers pushed the Islamist fighters out of Mogadishu in 2011, but the al Qaeda-linked group has continued to launch guerrilla-style attacks there and kept control of several towns and many rural areas.

 

A new offensive to capture the remaining territory had been expected ever since the U.N. Security Council in November authorized an increase of more than 4,000 peacekeepers for the African peacekeeping force known as AMISOM, from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Sierra Leone.

 

Special Representative Nick Kay said the push started this month when Ethiopian troops took control of towns in southern Somalia, including Bakool regional capital Hudur.

 

"(The offensive) is progressing quite well," Kay told Reuters via telephone from Mogadishu.

 

"The Ethiopians clearly have been doing well, recaptured several important towns in Bakool and in Gedo (region)."

 

Kay said al Shabaab had to be pushed out of territory where it was training more insurgents, taxing businesses and importing arms through ports.

 

"That's why this AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) offensive is really important to deprive them of those bases," Kay said.

 

In a rare move, the U.N. has passed a resolution to provide logistical support to the SNA troops fighting alongside the 22,000-strong AMISOM force, which has been in Somalia since 2007.

 

Kay said this support will see one U.N. agency carry out medical evacuations and provide rations, transport and tents for the Somali army, which analysts say is badly trained, poorly equipped and lacks discipline.

 

The U.N. Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) needed more funding to do its job and so far only Britain and United States have pledged a total of about $6.5 million, Kay said.

 

"The rule of thumb was that, to begin with at least, $20 million would be a good amount to keep going," he added.

 

Al Shabaab has carried out several bombings in Mogadishu in recent months, including a large-scale raid on the Somali presidential palace and an attack on a U.N. convoy.

 

Kay warned conditions were likely to remain volatile in the capital and al Shabaab might intensify its bombing campaign as it came under pressure in the countryside.

 

"I think that's something AMISOM, the government and ourselves are prepared for," he said. "Things may get tougher in the short term but we have to be ready for that."

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18 février 2014 2 18 /02 /février /2014 08:50
Les armées de l’air française et italienne interviennent lors du détournement du vol ETH 702c

 

17/02/2014 Sources : EMA

 

Lundi 17 février 2014, l’armée de l’air française, en coopération avec les forces aériennes italiennes et suisses, a réalisé l’interception en vol d’un Boeing 767 de la compagnie Ethiopian Airlines.

 

Il est environ 04h10, lorsque le centre interallié de conduite des opérations aériennes de Torrejon (Espagne) informe le centre national des opérations aériennes (CNOA) de Lyon Mont-Verdun du détournement de l’avion de ligne éthiopien vers la Suisse.

 

L’avion, en provenance d’Addis Abeba en Éthiopie, a été détourné de sa destination d’origine, Rome, pour se diriger vers l’aéroport de Genève.

 

Après analyse de la situation depuis le CNOA, la haute autorité de défense aérienne (HADA) ordonne le décollage de la permanence opérationnelle (police du ciel) de la base aérienne 115 d’Orange pour intercepter l’appareil et place également d’autres avions en alerte.

 

05h07 : le 767 est intercepté par 2 Eurofighter italiens, relayés à 05h12 par un Mirage 2000 C français. À 05h17, la reconnaissance à distance réalisée par l’avion de chasse confirme que le vol d’Ethiopian Airlines met le cap sur la Suisse. Un négociateur dépêché sur l’aéroport de Genève par les autorités suisses est en contact avec le pirate de l’air qui refuse de poser l’avion tant que ses exigences ne sont pas acceptées.

 

05h56 : la HADA ordonne le décollage d’un second Mirage 2000 C d’Orange pour relever le premier. Les négociations aboutissent et le vol ETH 702 d’Ethiopian Airlinesentame sa phase d’approche sur Genève et se pose à 06h02. Le pirate de l’air a immédiatement été arrêté par la police suisse. Quant aux deux Mirage 2000 français, ils regagneront la base d’Orange.

 

Ce cas de détournement réel d’un avion de ligne a permis de mettre à l’épreuve les chaînes de commandement de sûreté aérienne suisse, italienne et française, conjointement à la coordination avec les autorités suisses qui a eu un rôle déterminant. La mobilisation dans un délai très bref de tous ces acteurs a contribué à secourir les quelque 200 passagers et membres d’équipage à bord de l’appareil.

 

Ces aéronefs de l’armée de l’air ont décollé dans le cadre de la posture permanente de sûreté aérienne, dispositif de sûreté participant à la protection du territoire national et visant à faire respecter la souveraineté nationale.

 

Le 21 janvier dernier, APEX, exercice transfrontalier mené entre la France et l’Italie, déroulait le scenario d’un détournement d’avion de ligne, permettant de tester la mise en œuvre des procédures de sûreté aérienne des deux pays. Cet exercice a porté ses fruits comme les deux armées de l’air l’ont démontré aujourd’hui. Les exercices transfrontaliers organisés régulièrement demeurent une garantie du bon déroulement des procédures et des transmissions d’informations, ayant pour but d’assurer, 24h/24 et 7 jours sur 7, la mission de sûreté aérienne confiée à l’armée de l’air.

Les armées de l’air française et italienne interviennent lors du détournement du vol ETH 702c
Les armées de l’air française et italienne interviennent lors du détournement du vol ETH 702c

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2 juillet 2013 2 02 /07 /juillet /2013 11:45
Vietnam did not Buy 18 Su-30K Aircraft from Russia?

tu01.07.2013 defense-studies

(DVO) - 18 Su-30K fighter jets that India returned to Russia, probably will not be sold to Vietnam, but instead is Ethiopia.

Deputy Group Director arms exporter Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheyev said that Russia is negotiating supply 18 Su-30K fighters to Ethiopia.

Number 18 multipurpose fighters were returned to India to replace the Russian fighter Su-30MKI is newer.

"We are in consultation with Ethiopia for the supply of the fighter. They have proposed a variant to modernize, enhance combat capability as well as the specification and provide additional tactics the rocket - to - land / sea more advanced, "said Mikheyev said.

The Rosoboronexport officials also stressed that, at present, four Su-30K first being repaired at a local aircraft factory.

"Just got the proposal from customers and financial resources, we are ready to upgrade and modernize all 18 Su-30K aircraft within 4-6 months," he said Mikheyev.

Complete 18 Su-30K aircraft the IAF was not used in 10 years time, then returned to Russia. This aircraft was delivered to some 558 factories in Belarus to repair and upgrade, before being sold to 3rd party without giving back to Russia to avoid import taxes.

Each has been much speculation about the fate of 18 Su-30K and its destination. There has been news that Belarus wants to buy the whole lot and that Russian planes do not extend credit to them (Belarus) to purchase the Group's Irkut aircraft, then, a few other sources revealed that customer Nan is Vietnam after Vietnam military mission sent to check out a few planes.

Since then, no further information about the fate of this 18 Su-30K. However, the recent disclosure of personally Rosoboronexport Deputy Director General that Vietnam will not be a customer of 18 Su-30K aircraft, may be negotiated by the two parties, but does not meet requirements of each other, or maybe, Vietnam will not buy old planes instead is buying new aircraft Su-30 at a point!

(DatViet)

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 19:45
Djibouti : stage multinational au CECAD

11/06/2013 Sources : EMA

 

Du 26 mai au 5 juin 2013, une centaine de stagiaire français, américains et éthiopiens ont effectué un stage au Centre d’entraînement au combat et d’aguerrissement de Djibouti (CECAD), armé par les Forces française stationnées à Djibouti (FFDj).

Djibouti : stage multinational au CECAD

Aux côtés des 90 stagiaires du 5e régiment interarmes d’outre-mer (5e RIAOM), 4 militaires américains de la 26e MEU (Marine expeditionary unit) et sept militaires éthiopiens ont effectué ce stage.

 

Dirigé par 12 instructeurs du 5e RIAOM, l’objectif de cet entrainement est de renforcer les capacités opérationnelles au combat en zone désertique. Les stagiaires acquièrent durant leur séjour au CECAD des savoir-faire tactiques et techniques, individuels et collectifs.

 

L'aguerrissement au CECAD s'appuie sur 3 piliers : la connaissance du milieu, comprenant la capacité à vivre et survivre en zone semi-désertique (nomadisation), le combat en zone semi-désertique, et notamment le combat de contre-rébellion, et l’entraînement de type commando.

 

Ce stage, d’une durée de 12 jours, débute par une acclimatation de 3 jours durant laquelle les stagiaires sont évalués sur leur condition physique et apprennent les premiers savoir-faire spécifiques au combat en zone désertique.

 

Les stagiaires se rendent ensuite durant 8 jours à Arta plage, à une quarantaine de kilomètres à l’Ouest de Djibouti, pour suivre deux phases d’instructions de 4 jours. Durant la première phase, les stagiaires suivent une instruction tactique et mènent des exercices de jour et de nuit. Au cours de la deuxième phase, l’instruction est axée sur l’aguerrissement avec l’apprentissage de techniques particulières de progression et d’intervention opérationnelle rapprochée (TIOR).

 

Le 9e jour du stage, les stagiaires effectuent un exercice tactique, au cours duquel ils mènent des missions de combat spécifiques et adaptées en zone désertique.

 

Le 5 juin, au cours d’une cérémonie à Arta plage, le lieutenant-colonel Malard et les instructeurs ont remis aux stagiaires français et étrangers le brevet d’aguerrissement zone désertique.

 

Le CECAD accueille les unités permanentes ou en mission de courte durée des FFDj, les unités ou écoles de métropole, les forces djiboutiennes et étrangères.

 

Les forces françaises sont stationnées à Djibouti (FFDJ) dans le cadre des accords de défense entre la République de Djibouti et la France, constituent depuis 2011 la base opérationnelle avancée (BOA) française sur la côte Est de l’Afrique. Les FFDJ participent au dispositif militaire français prépositionné permettant de disposer de réservoirs de forces pouvant être projetées rapidement en cas de crise. Parmi leurs missions, les FFDj apportent un soutien logistique essentiel au profit des bâtiments français et étrangers engagés dans les opérations de lutte contre la piraterie, notamment l’opération Atalante (soutien des bâtiments de guerre et des actions de patrouille maritime, soutien santé), ainsi qu’à la République de Djibouti dans le cadre de sa mobilisation contre la piraterie.

Djibouti : stage multinational au CECAD

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 16:45
Ethiopia says preparing to pull troops out of Somalia

24 April 2013 defenceWeb (Reuters)

 

Ethiopia will withdraw its troops from Somalia soon, its prime minister said, voicing frustration with the Mogadishu government and African Union peacekeeping forces that are also battling Islamist militants there.

 

After waging an ill-fated war in Somalia in 2006-2009, Ethiopia in 2011 once again rolled troops into Somalia to fight al Qaeda-allied al Shabaab, opening a third front alongside Kenyan troops and an African Union mission.

 

At the time Ethiopia pledged to stay in the war-ravaged country until Somali government could ratify a new constitution and its ragtag military was able to fend off the Islamist threat on its own, Reuters reports.

 

However, last month Ethiopian troops unexpectedly withdrew from Hudur, the capital of Bakool province near the Ethiopian border, enabling al Shabaab to retake the dusty town.

 

Hailemariam Desalegn, who replaced Ethiopia's long-serving Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in September, stopped short of announcing a full withdrawal but voiced concern with the pace of progress in Somalia, recovering from two decades of civil war.

 

"It has taken them (African peacekeepers and Somalia) a year already and they repeatedly assure us each month but fail to deliver so we pulled out," said Hailemariam, referring to pledges by African Union's Amisom force to replace Ethiopian troops.

 

"The main issue now is to accelerate our complete withdrawal towards our border. This is what we are fulfilling," he told Ethiopia's parliament.

 

Hailemariam said Addis Ababa was paying for its military mission in Somalia from its own coffers and Western diplomats say financial issues are one of the main reasons behind Ethiopia's discontent, along with strained relations with Mogadishu and Amisom.

 

African countries which sent troops into Somalia under the Amisom banner are compensated by the African Union but Ethiopian troops do not operate within that framework.

 

Al Shabaab has been greatly weakened since late September when Kenyan troops forced it to withdraw from the port of Kismayu, its last major urban stronghold.

 

But analysts say they doubt Ethiopia is set for a full withdrawal and Hailemariam suggested Ethiopia could continue its fight against al Shabaab, but in other parts of Somalia.

 

"Somalia is one of Ethiopia's main security interest zones, so I don't think they would change policy drastically," said one Nairobi-based Western diplomat.

 

"It's in Ethiopia's own interest that Somalia stays in tact and that gains achieved are not lost once again."

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13 mars 2012 2 13 /03 /mars /2012 08:40
Ethiopian troops set to leave Somalia by end April:AU

 

12 March 2012 defenseWeb (Reuters)

 

Ethiopia, which has deployed hundreds of troops inside Somalia to rout Islamist insurgents, is set to withdraw from the war-ravaged country by the end of April with Djibouti, Uganda and Burundi poised to step in, the African Union said.

 

Ethiopian forces captured the rebel stronghold of Baidoa in southern Somalia last month having seized Baladwayne from the al Qaeda-allied al Shabaab group on New Year's Eve.

 

Troops from Ethiopia crossed the border in November to open up a third front against the militants, who are also fighting 9,000 Ugandan and Burundian troops under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Kenyan forces to the south, Reuters reports.

 

Keen to point out their incursion is not a repeat of their ill-fated 2006-2009 war in Somalia, Ethiopian officials have said troops would only be deployed for a brief period.

 

Earlier this month, the U.N. Security Council voted to expand AMISOM, which supports the shaky Western-backed government, to nearly 18,000 soldiers, and will include Kenyan troops who will "re-hat" to its blue berets.

 

Chiefs of staff from troop contributing countries met in Addis Ababa to iron out details of the expanding mission.

 

"It provides for Djiboutian forces to be deployed in Baladwayne by the end of April at the latest. Two thousand five hundred troops from Burundi and Uganda will also be deployed in Baidoa by the 30th of April at the latest," the AU's Ramtane Lamamra said of a deal signed by the officials.

 

"The decision up to now is that it is essentially Baladwayne and Baidoa (for Ethiopia) and they have to be handed over to AMISOM and then Ethiopia will withdraw its forces to its own national territory."

 

Lamamra, the bloc's commissioner for peace and security, also said a Djiboutian contingent would be deployed in Mogadishu.

 

Ethiopian soldiers previously went into Somalia in 2006, and left in early 2009 after pushing the Islamist Islamic Courts Union out of the capital Mogadishu.

 

At the time, most Somalis opposed the intervention and analysts said it may have encouraged people to join al Shabaab.

 

COSTLY

 

Lamamra, however, said there was a slim possibility the bloc could ask Addis Ababa to push further.

 

"Because Ethiopian troops are assisting ... without being re-hatted unlike Kenya - it means this effort is being done on national resources and national budget, I don't see how we can ask them to go further, to do more if there is no accompanying support package," he said.

 

"If we succeed to work out some support package for Ethiopia, we may be in a position to request the government to consider the possibility to help us elsewhere."

 

Lamamra also said Sierra Leone was expected to deploy a battalion of 850 troops in southern Somalia by the end of June.

 

Somalia has been in turmoil since warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. Fighting has killed more than 21,000 people since al Shabaab launched its insurgency in 2007.

 

Al Shabaab rebels, who want to impose a harsh interpretation of sharia law on the Horn of Africa nation, have waged a five-year campaign to drive Somalia's weak government from power.

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