Units of the Ethiopian Federal Armed Forces reportedly crossed Somalia’s northern borders in large numbers on August 8, stationing themselves in the Gedo and Bakool areas, and opening two new bases in the border towns of Dolow and El Barde.
The measure was reportedly necessary after al Shabaab raids into Ethiopian territory and suspicions of the presence of numerous jihadist cells well across the country’s border. The Ethiopian Federal Armed Forces intend in this way to create a control strip along the main routes into the country to prevent the supply chain of jihadist units from supplying cells that may be present in Ethiopia (https://www.voanews.com/a/ethiopia-deploys-new-troops-into-neighboring-somalia-/6693095.html).
This would be according to information provided by Gedo regional government spokesman Ali Yussuf Abdullahi, about 2,000 soldiers that would augment the already large Ethiopian contingent in the region.
The deployment follows a few weeks after top Ethiopian military leaders visited the region and, after consultations with local administrations and the government in Mogadishu, reportedly got the go-ahead to deploy a reinforcement of their military hardware on Somali soil.
Moreover, according to top military officials in Addis Ababa, the reinforcement of contingents and operations against al Shabaab militias has reportedly led to the elimination of no fewer than 800 jihadists over the past few weeks, while the commander of Ethiopian forces in Somalia, General Tesfaye Ayalew, said how in the course of air and ground raids at least 24 top figures of the jihadist organization were reportedly killed (https://www.voanews.com/a/ethiopia-s-military-800-al-shabab-fighters-killed-in-recent-clashes-/6689836.html).