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.
Kerry reiterated his government's call for Iran to release two other Americans as well
AU and Khartoum enjoy good relations as African leaders have supported Sudan's president in his battle against ICC
TRNC foreign minister says intensity fuelling discussions has not been seen since the 2004 'Annan plan'
Journalist allegedly demanded$3.4 mn not to publish the book, which reportedly contains damaging revelations about Mohammed VI
Death toll from grim discovery more than double than initial estimate
UN says migrant flow increased by a third since 2014
Dozens of Jewish settlers overnight took over a large, five-story building in Silwan, and tried to force a Palestinian family who resides in it and holds a legal rental contract, to leave.
Austrian newspaper Krone has said that three people have been arrested over the truck tragedy that saw 90 refugees found dead in a lorry.
As Ukraine readies itself for entry into the EU, leaders have backed less restricted travel for Ukraine amid migration crisis in Europe
With porous borders and disease outbreaks inside and around Uganda, authorities are using Twitter to speed up response times
German Justice Ministry, Facebook will discuss protection of people against abuse, hate speech and bullying
Horrible discovery of dead migrants is a warning to Europe to get to grips with the migrant crisis, says Merkel
German Chancellor says EU must help Balkan countries to deal with migrant influx
Final report into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over war-torn eastern Ukraine last year will be released in October 13
Painful talks between Ukraine, IMF and US lasting for five months end with a restructuring agreement reached