Radio BBC reported that Ethiopian forces started to move towards Bardhere town, an al Shabaab controlled town in Gedo region in a bid to launch a military assault in southern Somalia. According to the news:

Somalia federal government and the AMISOM troops continue heavy military assault preparations to strike al Shabaab controlled regions. According to witnesses in Gedo region, Ethiopian forces, who have recently joined AMISOM backing Somalia military started to move towards Bardhere town, an al Shabaab controlled town in Gedo region.

The joint forces reportedly moved towards the north and the south leaving Garbaherey and Beledhawa towns to prepare military confrontation amid government led campaign to liberate the south and central Somalia regions from al Qaeda linked group of al Shabaab.

Meanwhile, according to sources, fighters of al Shabaab on their side begun to pour into the region to defend their positions against the Somali military and the AMISOM troops.

In a related news, Al Shabaab supporters in central Somalia protest against Ethiopian troops, according to Somalimemo Online citing Al-Shabaab affiliated media. The news claimed:

Al Shabaab run websites published that hundreds of people who live in Hiiran region marched the streets showing their refusal towards Ethiopian joining African peacekeeping forces in Somalia

The protest happened in al Shabaab stronghold of Bula-barde district in Hiiran where children, women and elderly gathered to protest against Ethiopian troops’ invasion, according report published websites.

The protesters waved the al Shabaab black flag to show their obedience to the group. Pictures taken from the rally showed armed women participating in the protest and al Shabaab officials who were patrolling the area.

Some elders in the areas addressed the rally and promised they will support al Shabaab in their fighting against Ethiopian troops in the country. Some reports say that al Shabaab organized the rally and forced the community to participate. This demonstration coincides with an anti al Shabaab rally held in Mogadishu which Somali PM attended and addressed.

Content gathered and compiled from online and offline media by Hornaffairs staff based on relevance and interest to the Horn of Africa.

more recommended stories