About 100 Ethiopian troops crossed the border into Somalia on Saturday, witnesses said, the latest sign that Ethiopia might try to bolster this country's weak interim government as an Islamic militia gains increasing power.100 troops? Whatever could be their intentions? Bill Roggio has a report that says it was 200-300 troops and reminds us:
The troops entered the border town of Beled-Hawo in eight military vehicles, Husein Ali Burale, a well-known traditional elder, said in a telephone interview.
Ethiopia has intervened in Somalia in the mid 1990's and destroyed the al-Qaeda backed Union of Islam (al-Ittihad al-Islamiya), as it was sponsoring separatist Islamist groups in Ethiopian border province of Ogaden. The rise to power of the Islamic Courts Union, the successor group to al-Ittihad al-Islamiya, must be of concern to the Ethiopian government. In Osama bin Laden’s latest speech (which has just been verified by the CIA) he backs the Islamic Courts and call for the continuation of Jihad in Somalia must also concern the secular government of Ethiopia. Osama essentially elevates the importance of Islamic Courts Union to the status of the Taliban.Bill's post is a must read. More on bin Laden's speech here.