Withdrawals of troops has nothing to do with the state of emergency, Getachew Reda says on a press conference in the capital Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia on Wednesday denied that a string of withdrawals of troops from towns in Somalia were connected to the state of emergency declared in response to nearly a year of anti-government protests.
Government spokesman Getachew Reda insisted the removal of troops from a string of Somali towns — including at least three since Ethiopia declared a six-month state of emergency on October 9 — was to do with the “financial burden” and “lack of support” rather than the need for more troops at home.
“It has nothing to do with the state of emergency,” Getachew Reda told a press conference in the capital Addis Ababa.
“We have been making a very conscious and responsible decision to evacuate our forces from many parts of Somalia. We cannot remain there indefinitely.”
Getachew Reda said the domestic challenge represented by the unprecedented months of sometimes deadly anti-government protests was not “enormous enough for us to shift our policy in Somalia”.
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