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Ethiopia says decision for Somalia pullout is irreversible

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December 8,2008 (ADDIS ABABA) — Despite some reports saying "Ethiopia agreed to extend Somalia withdrawal by days, the ministry of foreign affairs on Sunday reaffirmed that Ethiopia’s decision to pull out of Somalia by the end of the year will go as promised .

"There is no any change of plans, our Troops are moving out of Somalia by the end of December" Wahade Belay, spokes person of the foreign ministry said.

"We don’t make policy based on hope, promises and speculation” He added.

Ethiopia last month announced that it will pullout it’s estimated 3,000 troops from Somalia by the end of 2008 saying it is inappropriate for its troops to remain any longer in Somalia with luck of progress in peace efforts, luck of political commitment among the transitional government leadership and for AU failure to provide enough peace force and necessary help

"Nothing could change the government’s decision of pullout when in two years experience in Somalia we were given deaf ears," the official added

A different statement released from the ministry last week said that the scheduled pullout could be extended by few days but said that doesn’t imply any attempt of delay.

"Ethiopia has moral obligation that during the pullout AMISOM is not put in danger" it said adding "this doesn’t imply any delay in withdrawal but allows some flexibility for responsible withdrawal."

Ethiopia on 2006 sent troops to Somalia to oust the Islamic courts union (ICU), a radical group that arise with an agenda of imposing strict Sharia law in Somalia.

(ST)

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