Ethiopian troops entered neighboring Somalia Sunday as they searched for terrorists from the al-Shabab group.
Eyewitnesses told a BBC reporter they saw a large number of troops crossing the border in trucks and other military vehicles. At least 20 vehicles were seen, the sources said, but Ethiopian authorities have denied the report. Ethiopian soldiers previously maintained a presence in Somalia for three years, leaving only in 2009.
Somali parliamentarians reportedly supported the incursion, according to the Somali Report. “We are supporting the new intervention because Al Shabab has punished our people,” Somali lawmaker Mohamed Ali Dahiye told the newspaper.
A consortium of East African and other nations has been working to eliminate the al-Qaeda inspired Somali terrorist group. The al-Shabab was driven out of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, by African Union troops this past August, according to Voice of America. Advancing Kenyan troops in the south are currently working to further break the group's stranglehold on Somalia.
Representatives of Kenya were recently in Israel requesting the assistance of the Jewish State in learning how to combat the terrorist group. The Kenyan army has been working with Somali militias to distance the terrorists from the border area.
President Shimon Peres told Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga last week that Israel would “make everything available” to help Kenya secure its borders and strengthen its internal security while it helps its neighbor.
“Israel can help Kenya police build capacity to be able to detect militants, know what kind of arms they have and pre-empt and destroy the networks that recruit youths and kill inside the country,” Odinga told reporters in a statement.
Heads of state from the six-nation Horn of Africa regional bloc, IGAD, are scheduled to meet Friday to discuss ways to strengthen Somalia's weak Transitional Federal Government. Ethiopia will be among the countries to attend the Addis Ababa summit.