ESAT News (January 2, 2017)
Majority of Somalia nationals think Ethiopian troops alleged interference is the cause of instability in the Horn of Africa country, according to a report by Radio Daslan of Somalia.
From interviews conducted by Radio Dalsan in Mogadishu some 80% of residents in the capital believe Ethiopia undermines the sovereignty and security of its neighbor Somalia.
“As long as the Ethiopian army presence continues in my country I will not be optimistic that the conflict facing Somalia will come to an end soon” Ahmed Bille a Mogadishu resident told Radio Daslan.
It is ten years now since neighboring Ethiopia sent its troops across the border at the end of 2006 to help the weak Transitional government rout out the Islamic Courts Union who had controlled the capital Mogadishu for six months. The report said locals still refer to that battle as Dagaalki Itobian-Ka Moqdisho ku qabsatay” or loosely translated “when Ethiopians Were in Mogadishu War”.
Over a million Somalis were displaced following the invasion and thousands died a memory that many Somalis painfully remember, according to the report.
According to Abdirashid Ahmed a Somali Political Analyst Ethiopia’s boots on the ground are at least 10000 and only 2000 serve under the green AMISOM beret.
“That indicates their interest in wanting to control the path that Somalia takes both internally regionally and internationally” Ahmned said in an interview with Radio Dalsan.
Sagal Bihi an MP and social justice activist did not mince her words regarding the Ethiopia -Somalia relation.
“Now after 10yrs they are intervening with our political system to dominate the country in every aspect” she tweeted.
If the mood of the ordinary Somali on the street would be measured Ethiopian troops are arguably the least popular of the AMISOM peacekeepers in Somalia.
“Somalis rank Kenya Uganda and Burundi ahead of Ethiopia” Abdikarim Yusuf a student at the University of Mogadishu told Radio Dalsan.
There have been reported cases of civilians killed by Ethiopian troops . In 2015 the highest civilian deaths was caused by Amisom when Ethiopian troops opened fire and killed seven civilians in El Buur.