Ethiopian ambassador to Somalia, Abdi Aziz Ahmed and Somali President Sharif Shiekh Ahmed
The newly appointed Ethiopian ambassador to Somalia, Abdi Aziz Ahmed, was welcomed in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Thursday. The welcome ceremony was held at the compound of the Ethiopian embassy with Somali government ministers and lawmakers in attendance.
Director General of the Somali Foreign Ministry, Abdi Dahir, speaking at the ceremony, said the Somali government was very grateful to Ethiopia for its constant efforts to help Somalia recover from conflicts and get back on its feet.He said that Somalia was very much interested in promoting good ties with the world and in particular the neighboring countries, adding that the launching of diplomatic missions in Mogadishu by the neighboring states is encouraging the rest of the world to establish diplomatic missions in Somalia.Somali Youth, Sport and Labor Minister Abdi Nur Moalim said the bilateral relationship between Somalia and Ethiopia was at its highest point. “A proverb says a friend indeed is a friend in need, so the Somali people will never forget the helpful hand by Ethiopia while we are in such terrible experience,” the minister said.The ambassador, who is from the ethnic Somali inhabited region in eastern Ethiopia, thanked the Somali government and people for the good welcome, saying that while in Mogadishu he believes he is in his homeland and that will help him accomplish his duties well.
Ethiopia is one of the very few African and Asian countries with embassies in Somalia. Others include India, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Egypt and Djibouti.The Ethiopian embassy is located in the heavily guarded area of the city near the presidential palace. AHL
AU moves civilian staff to Mogadishu
The African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) has relocated its civilian staff and police to country's capital, Mogadishu.
According to the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Mr Boubacar Gaoussou Diarra, the civilian and police components will enhance support to the military component in achieving the broad political, security and developmental objectives of the African Union in Somalia.The civilians, who left Nairobi on Monday, are also expected to provide support to the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) in carrying out their mandate.over the past months, troops of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, with the support of Amisom, have pushed armed opposition groups out of key strategic positions, hence improving the security situation in Mogadishu.
The civilian international staff and police officers who have been operating from Nairobi since 2008 due to security concerns, will continue to be deployed to Mogadishu in phases as the security situation continues to improve.
Early this week, Amisom said it was gaining ground after the killing of extremist commander Abdufita Mohamed in Mogadishu's Bakara market sector. Amisom spokesman Major Paddy Ankunda said Mohamed was killed last Friday together with several of his fighters and Abdiwahab Sheik Dole, his intelligence officer.
According to Major Ankunda, about 60 per cent of Mogadishu city is now under the control of government forces. Seven out of Mogadishu's 16 districts are under Amisom, while six are contested and three are under al Shabaab.Somalia has had no fully functioning national government and has been in warfare since the collapse in 1991 of the administration of the late Mohammed Siad Barre.