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Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has declared "mission accomplished" in Somalia, and told parliament Ethiopian troops will be home from their controversial two-year military mission within weeks. Mr. Meles also pledged Ethiopia would guarantee the safety of African Union peacekeepers in Somalia, should they choose to withdraw.
The Ethiopian leader admitted it has been impossible to crush the Islamist extremist al-Shabab forces and establish a stable government in the two years since he dispatched troops to neighboring Somalia. But he said that was not Ethiopia's objective.
That, he said, is the job of the United Nations, which gave legitimacy to Somalia's Transitional Federal Government; the African Union, which initially pledged to send 8,000 peacekeepers that he thought would quickly replace Ethiopian soldiers; and the international community.
But in answering questions in parliament, Mr. Meles said he was bringing the troops home confident they had accomplished the twin missions of preventing the establishment of a militant Islamic regime, and giving the international community time to intervene.
"Our main mission was to defuse the plan orchestrated by Eritrea, accompanied by al-Shabab, and anti-peace elements in Ethiopia, he said. "We have defused it in a way that it cannot come again. That is, if we feel there are signs it is coming back again, we can take action. We did that in the first two weeks. Our second mission was to give the international community and Somali peace forces time to accomplish their mission of bringing lasting peace to Somalia. We consider two years enough time. So we have accomplished both our missions. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to bring lasting peace to Somalia."
Urgent efforts are underway to bolster the 3,400-member AU force known as AMISOM, and possibly transform it into a U.N. peacekeeping mission. If that fails, however, and the international community abandons Somalia, Mr. Meles said he has assured Burundi and Uganda, the two AMISOM troop contributors, that Ethiopia will guarantee safe departure of the peacekeepers.
"When we intervened in Somalia, there were forces that stood by our side," he saidi. "So when we think of withdrawing from Somalia, we also think about how those countries will withdraw their troops. When we withdraw, the Burundi and Uganda forces have told us that if we withdraw, they might like to withdraw. They have told us they would need our assistance to withdraw form Somalia. They say it would be better if we escort them first, then we withdraw."
AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra is in New York for talks with U.N. secretary-general and Security Council ambassadors about ways of preventing a collapse of Somalia's transitional government after Ethiopia leaves.
African Union diplomats in Addis Ababa said the international community is showing a heightened awareness of the severity of Somalia's crisis. The U.N. Security Council is said to be preparing a ministerial-level meeting on Somalia next week. The African Union Peace and Security Council will hold a similar session the following week.
Even so, diplomats said it would take months to replace the several-thousand Ethiopian troops who are going home, much less to bring the AMISOM force up to its authorized strength of 8,000, or to transform it to a more robust U.N. peacekeeping mission.
In what are seen as significant political developments, the leader of the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia returned to Mogadishu this week after a two-year absence, and the transitional government's parliament is assembling for a meeting Saturday aimed at affirming a power-sharing deal.
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Asafari, ahun min tegegne?
Good Job! I know you are smart!!
Y.E PM Melese Zenawi from the first day,your illiga ocopetion of Somalia by your blood soucker foot solders was totaly unacceptabil to all Ethiopian people.It was total political madness…..now you have to decler your shemeful defet in Somalia.
Mr pm MELES ZENAWI you have to know that your not only out of Moqadisho but this is the beging of your withdrwal even from Mekele city. you blev or not !
DOWN WITH MELES ZENAWI !
The Brave Ethiopian army has wiped out the Bantu negroid Hawiye foot soldiers from the midst of Somalia. YES PRIME MINISTER…. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED Viva Ethiopia and Somalia! Down to the Hawiye Monkeys and the Christian Eritrean Terrorists
that is by mile far from a mission accomplishment!! God knows when this nation will see a freedom in time of turmoil.!!
Mission Accomplished, AHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!! Gorilla, betam yasaferal. Why did he sent tropps in the first place. A lot of innocent somalians have died. US has its own problem ,don’t care of us, a lot of ethiopian tropps have died for nothing.Hodam.
[Stop using multiple nick names, you will be banned]
It looks chances are blink to get milk from the Obama cow!!!!!!!
Shame! There is nothing accomplished! Except sacrifice paid by our innocent soldiers and amplifying Ethiopian enemies. Anyway withdrawal is good idea and should be right now without any further delay. But on the ground it seems different!
Meles Zenawi has declared “mission accomplished” Yaa in his bank Account, yes.
We are proud of our forces accomplished. Certainly Meles is one of the most respected and smart leader in Africa, those Ugandan and burundian contengents need the protection while they too withdraw. Indeed our mission is accomplished. No Shabia or, islamic alliances will use Somalia as a lounching ground to attack Ethiopia. The terrorists back is broken beyound repair and our military has done a superb job making sure they will never stand again to walk past Mogadishu. The somali government is unable to over come their silly clan war-fare, the Ethiopian forces were invited there to bring peace, and eradicate islamic terrorists who decleared jihad on Ethiopia. However, while we accomplished the later’s mission but the Somali government is unable to use the opportunity which granted by meles and Ethiopia. They thought ethiopians are there foreve, they were seeking an open end commitment. Meles has given them several chances to over come their childish and insane war among themselves, but they proved once more how barberic and nomadic Somalis are. perhaps, they will be better off living in a total unending chaos.
Uganda says Zenawi is lying
KAMPALA, Uganda (AFP) – Uganda on Thursday strongly denied comments by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi that it wanted to pull its peacekeeping forces out of Somalia.
“This is absolutely not true and this is contrary to eveything we have said. Our position has always been that if Ethiopia pulls out of Somalia, we will increase our presence there,” Uganda’s deputy foreign minister, Okello Oryem, told AFP.
Oryem said he was “surprised” by Meles’ statement to the Ethiopian parliament earlier Thursday in which he said Uganda and Burundi wanted to withdraw their forces as soon as possible, even before an Ethiopian pullout scheduled for early next month.
“Uganda is prepared to increase its battalion if there is a need,” he said.
You are totally wright mission accomplished, Mr PM MELES more than 5000 poor Ethiopian soldiers died more than 500000 poor somalian displeased and about 25000 died what more can we expect from weyane more lies. I believe you start believing your own lies .
yes meles, good job , i have trust on u,the next mission will be avoiding ertirian goverement every body knows u have a capacity to do so , then it will be peace
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