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Somalia: Armed Conflict

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 21 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects Ethiopian troops to leave Somalia; and what assessment he has made of the likely effects of such withdrawal on Eritrea and other neighbouring states. (249349)

Ethiopian troops have now withdrawn from the capital, Mogadishu. According to the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) the Ethiopian bases have now been occupied by forces supporting the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia, who agreed in November 2008 to establish a Unity Government under the UN-sponsored Djibouti Process. Although the departure of the Ethiopians could risk further worsening the security situation in South Central Somalia, it also offers an opportunity to find a Somali-led political solution to the conflict and may relieve a point of aggravation between Ethiopia and Eritrea. A more stable Somalia would ultimately have a positive impact on the security and prosperity of the region.