AU asks Ethiopia to delay withdrawal from Somalia

Ethiopia said last month it would pull its troops out by the end of the year.

AU asks Ethiopia to delay withdrawal from Somalia

The African Union called on Ethiopia on Monday to delay a move to withdraw its forces from Somalia to allow for reinforcements, but Ethiopia said the decision was irreversible.

Ethiopia said last month it would pull its troops out by the end of the year.

"We appeal to Ethiopia to consider phasing out withdrawal, until such time (when) more troops from Nigeria, Uganda and Burundi are deployed in Somalia," the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the AU said in a statement at a meeting in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia's minister of state, Tekeda Alemu, said: "The decision to withdraw troops from Somalia was a commitment made by the country's authorities to parliament and will not be changed."

About 850 Nigerian troops are expected to strengthen the 3,200 AU peacekeepers from Uganda and Burundi.

Feuding between Somalia's President Abdullahi Yusuf and Nur Hassan Hussein, who he sacked as prime minister, has brought the weak transitional government to the brink of collapse.

The Council asked the ministers to consider extending the mandate of the AU force for an additional period of six months, with effect from 17 July 2008.

Reuters
Last Mod: 23 Aralık 2008, 11:13
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