Ethiopian troops seize important town from al Shabaab

Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali
Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali
Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali
Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali

Baidoa, 155 miles northeast of the capital Mogadishu, had been one of the main bases of the al-Qaeda-linked militia since 2009 when it was captured in a humiliating blow to the Western-backed factions in the “world’s most failed state”.

However, as they arrived in London yesterday, Somali leaders confirmed that Ethiopian troops and Somali troops had retaken Baidoa, dealing a significant blow to the insurgents, who control large parts of southern and central Somalia.

“One of the most important cities in southwestern Somalia, Baidoa, has just been captured from Al-Shabaab,” Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, the prime minister said.

It came as the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to boost the peacekeeping force in Somalia/ Under the terms of the resolution adopted by the UN, the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia will increase in size from 12,000 to 17,700.

The resolution also introduces a ban on the sale of charcoal from Somalia, which the militant al-Shabaab group uses as a source of income, and the farming of which leads to deforestation and drought.

By Damien McElroy, and Rosa Prince

Telegraph