Ethiopian PM Meles Zenawi says troops to leave Somalia

January 27, 2012 | BBC NEWS

Mr Zenawi said he would not leave a vacuum in Somalia

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has said he will withdraw his troops from Somalia once African Union forces are there.

“We expect the Amisom [African Union] troops to be able to fill in the gaps before we withdraw,” he said in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia sent troops into Somalia in October in pursuit of al-Shabab militants.

It had previously denied having troops in the country.

Ethiopian forces took the strategically important central town of Beledweyne from al-Shabab in December. On Tuesday Islamist militants launched a suicide truck bomb attack on an Ethiopian military base in the town.

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