Ethiopia to join fight against Somalia militants

AP , Friday 25 Nov 2011

Ethiopia to join AU force in Somalia fighting against Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist rebels al-Shabab

Ethiopia says it will contribute troops to the African Union force in Somalia fighting Al-Qaeda-affiliated insurgents.

East African leaders meeting in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Friday requested that Ethiopia send troops. The heads of state at the meeting also asked Kenya to consider integrating their forces to the AU force.

Kenyan troops crossed the border into Somalia last month to fight al-Shabab in southern Somalia following a string of attacks on Kenyan soil. They are not yet under the AU mandate. Burundian and Ugandan troops currently make up the bulk of the AU's 9,100-strong force.

Some observers say Ethiopia's involvement in Somalia could be a propaganda coup for al-Shabab. Ethiopia's last incursion into Somalia ended in 2009 and was deeply unpopular.

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