Ethiopia Pushes for Somalia Pullout

UN calls refugee crisis worse than Darfur's; skirmishes continue
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2007 7:54 AM CDT
Ethiopia Pushes for Somalia Pullout
Ethiopian troops rest under a tree on the outskirts of the Somali capital Mogadishu , Tuesday, May 1, 2007. The Security Council on Monday asked the U.N. chief to begin contingency planning to send U.N. peacekeepers back to Somalia for the first time since 1995. Battles between insurgents and Ethiopian-backed...   (Associated Press)

Ethiopia wants its troops out of Somalia, where the UN says the refugee crisis is now worse than the situation in Darfur, the BBC reports. But a pullout now could spell disaster for the estimated 300,000 Somalis displaced by recent fighting between the Ethiopia-backed government and the Islamist resistance, which troops from the neighboring country helped put down last year.

African Union peacekeepers are not yet in place, and Ethiopia is struggling with the cost of continuing intervention. Recent fighting in Mogadishu was the worst since the country last had an effective government, 16 years ago; up to a third of the population fled the capital. And relief workers now accuse local authorities of preventing aid from getting through. (More Ethiopia stories.)

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