Tag Archives: AMISOM

UN honours Ethiopian peacekeepers

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

ADDIS ABABA– The United Nations has honoured Ethiopia for its significant contributions to UN’s vast Peacekeeping operations, the Ethiopian ministry of foreign affairs said on Friday.

At a ceremony held at UN headquarters in New York to mark International Day of UN Peacekeepers, the United Nations has awarded Ethiopia a medal in honour of its peacekeepers, who sacrificed their lives during line of duty in different peace keeping missions.

Ambassador Tekeda Alemu, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the United Nation, received the medal awarded to Ethiopia.

The Ministry said Ethiopia has been actively participating in UN peacekeeping operations based on its firm conviction on the principle of collective security enshrined in the UN Charter since the establishment of the United Nations.

Ethiopia, with nearly 8,000 peacekeepers currently serving in UN Peacekeeping Missions around the world is Africa’s top contributing nation.

The horn of Africa’s nation is also world’s fourth largest contributor in terms of the number of its peacekeepers deployed under the United Nations umbrella

Currently Ethiopian Peacekeepers are serving in various UN peacekeeping missions including in Abyei, Darfur and South Sudan.

In addition, more than 4 thousand Ethiopian peacekeepers are deployed in Somalia as part of the AU peace support operation in that country.

The country has for years played significant role in the success of UN peacekeeping and its participation is the most tangible contribution to restoring international peace and security.

(ST)

AMISOM: Ethiopian Troops formally join AMISOM Peacekeepers in Somalia.

AMISOM

BAIDOA: The AMISOM family received a new member after Ethiopian forces officially joined the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia in January 22 as earlier approved by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2124 which authorized an additional force of over 4000 troops to bring the number of AMISOM peacekeepers in Somalia to over 22,126 strong force.

To symbolize the Ethiopian forces entry into AMISOM, the Force Commander (FC) Lt. General Silas Ntigurirwa pinned AU berets and armbands onto Ethiopian officers who removed their own berets signifying they were now formally AMISOM peacekeepers.

The few Ethiopian forces who were officially inducted into AMISOM included the new Sector 3 commander Brig. General Gebremedhin Fikadu Hailu together with a number of other Ethiopian soldiers who mounted a guard of honor for the AMISOM FC.

This is not the first time for Ethiopia, which borders Somalia on the west, to send its troops into the country, having done so on their own mandate but it is the first time for the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) to official join AMISOM and become the sixth African country to contribute to AMISOM in restoring peace and stability in the Horn of African Country.

A colorful ceremony was held for this special occasion in the city of Baidoa which is the tactical headquarters of sector 3 bringing together Bay, Bakool and Gedo regions where the over 4000 Ethiopian peacekeepers will now be in charge.

The event was attended by a host of leader including Senior AMISOM commanders, Ethiopian ambassador to Somalia Wondimu Asamnenu, the European Union ambassador to Somalia Michele Cervone d’Urso, Somalia Deputy Chief of Staff General Abdirisaq Khalif Hussein who was the representative of the Somalia government, local leaders and civil society members led by Bay governor Abdi Adan Hosow.

NEW YEAR RESPONSIBILITIES

The AMISOM FC congratulated the ENDF for joining AMISOM and told them they will be required to adhere to the AMISOM Rules of Engagement as well as all other standing procedures as stipulated in the African Union Mission in Somalia mandate. He also sought to remind the rest of AMISOM that the New Year comes with responsibilities to clear Somalia of the Al-Shabaab militant’s menace.

“The deployment of Ethiopia into AMISOM is a follow up of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2124 clearly clarified by the new Concept of Operation (CONOP) which we will implement as soon as possible. As per the new CONOPs, the newly deployed contingent takes over sector 3 and will work and operate under AMISOM Force Commander Instructions and orders,” Force Commander Lt. Gen. Silas said also thanking the outgoing commander Col John Luc Habarugira and all forces for a job well done .

According to the new AMISOM concept of operation, the Ethiopian forces are required to take over sector 3 and help in sector 4 where Djiboutian peacekeepers are in charge. The Burundian peacekeepers who were in Baidoa will move to Jowhar in lower Shabelle region where they will constitute the new sector 5. The Ugandans previously in Baidoa are expected to bolster their compatriots in sector 1 which is responsible for the greater Mogadishu or Banadir region.

The new AMISOM Sector 3 commander from Ethiopia promised the Force Commander and the Somalis of his forces full adherence to all AMISOM standard operating procedures and hopes their entry will bring much more successes to the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

“I assure you that Ethiopia’s Defense Force will make a difference in AMISOM operation by clearing Al-Shabaab from sector 3 and 4 under the command of the force headquarters and completely implement AMISOM’s concept of operation in each of its military activities,” Brig. General Gebremedhin Fikadu Hailu, new AMISOM Sector 3 commander reiterated.

Somalian Crisis 2006

Ethiopian troops helped drive the Islamic Courts Union out of Mogadishu in Somalia.

Ethiopia sent troops to southern Somalia to help the UN backed weak transitional government. The TFG, Ethiopia and Puntland fought together against al Shabab and other radical Islamists to take over the capital Mogadishu. After the Islamists split into two groups, moderate Islamists led by Sheikh Ahmed signed a UN backed peace deal with the TFG and established a larger government in Mogadishu. Ethiopian troops withdrew as part of the terms of the peace deal. Government forces have been engaged in battle against Ogaden insurgents led by the Ogaden National Liberation Front.

Dead Ethiopian Soldiers in Somalia

Gabre Heard commanded the forces in Somalia. As of 2014, the Ethiopian troops in Somalia are being integrated into the AMISOM peacekeeping force. According to Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ambassador Dina Mufti, the Ethiopian military’s decision to join AMISOM is intended to render the peacekeeping operation more secure. Analysts also suggested that the move was primarily motivated by financial considerations, with the Ethiopian forces’ operational costs now slated to be under AMISOM’s allowance budget. It is believed that the Ethiopian military’s long experience in Somali territory, its equipment such as helicopters, and the potential for closer coordination will help the allied forces advance their territorial gains.