The special advisor to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said today that Ethiopia has begun implementing its withdrawal plan, but he cautioned that the withdrawal will take several days. Bereket Simon told VOA’s Tewelde Weldeghebriel that Ethiopia has begun pulling its troops out of Somalia, where they have been stationed for two years defending the beleaguered Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu against several Somali insurgent groups.
Meanwhile, a VOA reporter in Mogadishu has reported interviews with resident of the capital city that Ethiopian troops were loading mattresses, personal belongings and military supplies on a convoy of 15 Ethiopian military trucks.
Bereket rejected reported that Ethiopian soldiers are withdrawing from Mogadishu in the face of victorious Somali Islamic fighters who made their stay in the country almost impossible. “Our main goal of going to Somalia was to neutralize the security threat on Ethiopia, and we have done that.”