Ethiopian army generals jet-off to Baidoa, Jubaland, Somaliland; cross border security, Al-Shabaab threat top agenda

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Addis Abeba – A military delegation led by Major General Tesfaye Ayalew, Head of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) Deployment and Somali region’s Temporary Security Command Post Coordinator arrived today in Baidoa, south west state of neighboring Somalia, this morning, according to the ENDF.

Ethiopian senior army generals conducting military meetings in Baidoa (top picture), Somaliland (bottom left) and Jubaland (bottom right). Pictures: ENDF

The army delegation that includes other senior leaders of the army and security forces was received by the Chief Commander of Sector Three, Brigadier General Zewdu Setargie. The delegation was briefed the Chief Commander about the current peace and security situation in the region and the general activities of Al-Shabaab militants.

The army delegation also met with and discussed peace and security issues in the region with state officials and security forces of the South West state of Somalia, in particular on the on coordinated works to destroy Al-Shabaab militants.

In Jubaland

Similarly, a discussion was held today in the Jubaland state of Somalia regarding the current peace and security situation in the areas bordering Jubaland and Ethiopia.

Led by the Deputy President of Jubaland state, Mohammed Seid, the discussion on the current security issues was attended by Brigadier General Lucas Kuto, Commander of Sector 6, Lieutenant colonel Sintayehu Leta, the 5th Motorized Battalion Deputy Commander for Operations, as well as the Chief of Jubaland State Security, the regional information center officer, senior federal military commanders, and officials from the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS).

During the meeting, Mohammed Seid underlined that the Al-Shabaab militants were not only destroying and preventing Somalia’s economic and social progresses and living standards but also killing innocent citizens, the information from ENDF said. It was therefore important that through coordinated and united military campaigns the militant group should be defeated and their plans of incursion into central Ethiopia should be foiled by deploying the army in the border areas.

Brigadier General Lucas Kuto, on his part said that decisive actions must be taken to prevent the terrorist Al-Shabaab from seizing and using various explosives and detonators, as well as from the chaos it was spreading using social media.
Lieutenant colonel Sintayehu Leta commented that the militant group was deceiving the fathers, mothers and community elders in the region and “taking their children and training them for their nefarious purposes”. He emphasized that the militant group must be prevented from using especially the border areas of Dolo and Moyale to make incursions into Ethiopia.

In Somaliland

In a related development, a military delegation led by Lieutenant General Birhanu Bekele, head of the ENDF military intelligence, representing the Ministry of Defense, went to Somaliland on 02 August to discuss peace and security issues in the region.

The delegation was received by the chief of staff of Somaliland armed forces and other senior army officials at the Hargeisa International Airport, according to the ENDF. The two sides “discussed in detail with the Somaliland President, the Chief of Staff of the armed forces and the Director of the National Security regarding the cooperation between Ethiopia and Somaliland as well as the cooperation on common security and safety issues in the region.”

In Beledweyne

These meetings follow an earlier visit led by Maj. Gen. Tesfaye Ayalew, in Beledweyne, in the central Somalia. Accompanied by the Somali Regional State Special Forces Commissioner General Mohamed Ahmed and other members of the Defense Forces and Somali Region Special Forces, the visit was aimed at holding military discussions and coordination on stopping the harassment and invasion of the Al-Shabaab militants operating in neighboring Somalia. The delegation also met and consulted with the Somali Defense Army and the security leadership of the Hirshabelle State of Somalia, in south-central Somalia, which is located on the border with Ethiopia to the west, on conditions in which military measures against the militant group can be “strengthened” and “destroyed.”

The delegation hinted that joint operations to be conducted between the Ethiopian national defense forces and the Somali region’s special forces, in cooperation with the Somalia National Army (SNA) “to destroy the Al-Shabaab militants that are active in the area,” according to the Somali regional state communication affairs bureau.

It is to be recalled that Somali region security council admitted on 25 July that military offensives were launched against the militant group, which entered the Afdheer zone of Somali region on 20 July from Aato, in Bakool region of neighboring Somalia bordering Ethiopia’s Somali region, which had “completely destroyed” the terrorist group. ENDF reinforcement were deployed in the area on the same day on 25 July.

Subsequently, the federal government communication service said on 27 July that military measured continued against militants in multiple locations within the Somali region and that the acations were “accompanied by victory.” AS