The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the Ethiopians, who have been fighting Islamists in Somalia, have given up.
MOGADISHU, Somalia — Ethiopian troops pulled out from crucial bases in Mogadishu on Tuesday, leaving a power vacuum that was quickly filled by Islamist fighters who seized their positions.
It appeared to be the end of two years of bloody Ethiopian intervention in this chaotic nation. Hundreds of cheering Somalis lined the streets to watch the dozens of Ethiopian military trucks rumbling out of Mogadishu, Somalia’s bullet-pocked capital.
While hundreds of Ethiopian troops still remained at various bases across the city, Ethiopian commanders promised that all troops would leave the country by Tuesday night.
“I am happy they finally left our neighborhood,” said Fadumo Mohammed Jimale, an 18-year-old whose family had been displaced by intense urban street fighting. “They killed my father.”
The Ethiopian troops stormed into Somalia in 2006 to oust an Islamist movement that briefly controlled much of the country and to help shore up Somalia’s weak transitional government.
It did not go as intended. The Ethiopian intervention set off a bitter guerrilla war, killing thousands of civilians and driving nearly one million people out of Mogadishu.
It was all worth it, though:
…[O]n Tuesday an Ethiopian commander bid the country farewell.
“We came to Somalia to help the transitional federal government,” said the commander, Col. Gabre Yohannes. “We paid blood and property for that reason. That effort meant that the young generation of Somalis will get peace.”
“Mission Accomplished”, you might say. I’m glad it’s all going to be OK over there now.