Ethnic Somali militants in Ethiopia claim to have taken towns
Ethiopian rebel group, the Ogaden National Liberation Front, claims to have captured several towns from government forces in south-east Ethiopia, near the border with chaotic Somalia. The ONLF has been fighting for the independence of ethnic Somalis in the oil-rich Ogaden region since 1984, fuelling growing instability in the Horn of Africa region. Ethiopia’s army pulled out of Somalia early in 2009 after a two-year invasion backed by the US, and after helping oust a fundamentalist Islamic government that the former Bush administration said was supported by al-Qaeda. Since then African Union peacekeepers have been pummelled by Islamist militants. Next week the EU is expected to give the green light to send troops to help train up to 2,000 Somali military personnel to help stabilise the crisis-hit state.
BBC, BBC, USA Today, The New York Times