Al-Shabaab terrorist incursion in Ethiopia
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Al-Shabaab (Al-Shabab) terrorists entered the territory of Ethiopia from Somalia. The drought in Somalia and ethnic and political clashes in Ethiopia means Al-Shabaab sense opportunities to spread their influence.
Food insecurity in Somalia is a serious problem. Hence, the international community and the limited nature of central forces in this nation are heavily focused on the drought. Regional African nations fully understand the menace of al-Shabaab, notably Kenya.
The vast border between Ethiopia and Somalia – and the ethnic composition of Somalians in Ethiopia – equates to ample opportunities for al-Shabaab to spread its Islamist message. Feeling emboldened by internal events in Somalia – and noting the cycle of violence in parts of Ethiopia – al-Shabaab is probing border areas to see if Ethiopia is overstretched.
Voice of America reports, “The authorities said the armed group was seeking to pass through El-Kere district in the Somali region, more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Somalia-Ethiopian border.”
In the Hudur district, a local political official (Mohamed Malim) notified AFP that the towns of Ato (Aato) and Yeed witnessed “the heaviest fighting ever.”
He continued by stating that al-Shabaab lost many fighters and that Ethiopian forces also lost members in the ensuing clashes. However, Mohamed Malin stressed that the al-Shabaab incursion had been successively repelled – the exact number of Islamists involved in the attack is unknown.
Africa News reports, “Insurgents from Somali Islamist group al Shabaab attacked two villages near the border with Ethiopia, killing 17 Ethiopian police officers inside Somali territory while 63 of its fighters were killed, an Ethiopian security commander at the scene said to Reuters.”
Ethiopian armed forces and other regional nations support the central government of Somalia that continues to battle against al-Shabaab insurgents.
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