World Bulletin/News Desk
Ethiopia plans to keep its troops in Somalia until the Horn of Africa country ratifies a constitution and its military is able to fend off threats on its own, an official said on Friday, signalling a change in policy.
Addis Ababa rolled hundreds of troops across its border in November to open up a third front against the al Shabaab group but was keen to point out their incursion is not a repeat of their ill-fated 2006-2009 war in Somalia.
Ethiopian officials have said their troops would only be deployed for a brief period to fight the group who are also fighting thousands of Ugandan and Burundian troops under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), as well as Kenyan forces to the south.
"It (Ethiopia) will remain (in Somalia) until the Transitional Government (of Somalia) has adequately organised itself to fend off any attack from hostile forces," government spokesman Shimeles Kemal told reporters.
"There is no current plan to evacuate from Somalia until such time that a proper Somali constitution is ratified by all parties to the conflict, and until the constituent assembly will ratify the constitution," Shimeles sa i d.
Last June Somalia's feuding leaders agreed to extend the mandate of a transitional government for a year rather than hold elections, a move sought by Uganda which has peacekeepers stationed in the anarchic state.
The mandate for Somalia's latest administration was meant to expire in August 2011 but President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden had been at loggerheads over what should happen then, and agreed to defer elections.
Last week, Shaimaa's 23-year-old mother arrived dead to central Gaza Strip's Deir al-Balah hospital when doctors found out that her unborn girl had still been alive inside her womb.
When the war turn into barbarism. When hospitals, disability centres , schools are not safe it is not a humanitarian crisis.
Violence in China’s far-western Xinjiang province continues as its Muslim Uighur population face religious and cultural restrictions.
Separately, U.S. lawmakers were working in Congress to provide millions of dollars in additional funding for Israel's "Iron Dome" missile shield.
The Ukranian parliament has rejected the resignation of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
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Corey Robin, a Jewish professor of political science at Brooklyn College and a longtime critic of Israel, was also arrested at the protest.
The government increased fuel prices after spending about $3 billion on energy subsidies last year, nearly a third of state revenue.
Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine intend to take part in talks with Moscow, Kiev and the OSCE security and rights organisation in Belarus.
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France, the Philippines and the U.S. also decided to pull out staff this week.
The United Nations relief agency’s Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl condemned the killing children in their sleep.
In the absence of a deal, Israel has ordered its ground forces to focus on locating and destroying a warren of tunnels.
To get aid into Gaza, Iran has to fly it to Egypt and then take it across the Rafah border crossing. The only other option would be to go through Israel, unthinkable for Iran.
A joint rescue team is searching for those missing after a fishing vessel capsized with 48 on board in North Sumatra.
It is likely that the losses sustained by Morganti Development LLC, which owns a stake in the Gaza power plant, will be paid for by U.S. taxpayers, who ironically also help fund the Israeli army.