Ethiopia Sends Non-ATMIS Troops To Somalia

Hundreds of non-ATMIS Ethiopian troops crossed the border into Somalia on Wednesday, locals reported, days after Somali authorities confirmed that Ethiopia and Kenyan armies will participate in a new offensive against Al-Shabab militants.

The reports came a day after insurgents stormed a military base for US-trained troops and regional forces set to take part in upcoming military operations in the Middle and Lower Juba regions.

Rebels released images purporting to show dead bodies of soldiers, prisoners and military vehicles they seized during the raid.

Somali national security advisor Hussein Sheikh Ali said last week fresh non-ATMIS Kenyan, Ethiopian and Djiboutian troops would enter the country within weeks to participate in military operations aimed at retaking vast swathes of territory currently held by the Al-Qaeda affiliate.

Somalia has been grappling with chronic insecurity for years, with Al-Shabab Islamists being one of the main threats to the country’s stability.

The militants have increased their attacks since President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office last May and vowed an “all-out war” against Al-Shabab.

The group has been fighting in the Horn of Africa nation, targeting Somali government officials and African Union peacekeepers since 2007.

In October, twin car bombings by Al-Shabab in the capital took the lives of more than 100 people and wounded more than 300 others.

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