Ethiopia, seen as a key security player in Somalia, will deploy troops to retake a small town from Al-Shabaab. The small town called Leego was captured by Al-Shabaab on Friday. According to VOA’s report, the Ethiopian contingent that arrived in the city of Baidoa are to be tasked with retaking the town of Leego.
Ethiopian army has a good track record of defeating Al-Shabaab on different battle fields over the years. The then US president Barack Obama praised this performance of the Ethiopian army during his visit to Ethiopia in 2015.
Leego, a strategic town linking the Somali capital, Mogadishu and the town of Baidoa was captured by Al-Shabaab after the African Union and Somali forces left. It is unclear why they left the town. Retaking the town is important in order to reopen the road to the capital.
Military sources say newly arrived Ethiopian troops will be dispatched to Leego to retake from Al-Shabab and open the road to Mogadishu.
Ethiopia, seen as a key security player in the Horn of Africa region has troops fighting the insurgents in next door Somalia. Kenya also has troops in Somalia, they have, however, suffered the brunt of the insurgents who continue to carry out attacks on Kenyan soil.
Reports also indicated that the 40 Ethiopian troops had a hard time making it to Baidoa as a result of Al-Shabab ambushes along the road from the town of Waajid. Ethiopia years back was at the heart of pushing the insurgents out of Mogadishu.
In the wake of spreading anti-government protests last year, Ethiopia withdrew some of its forces from Somalia – ostensibly to beef up the security situation back home.
Addis Ababa denied any connection but an Al-Shabaab leader stressed that as a reason – the insurgents almost immediately retook towns where these pullouts were made.