Somalia has sent mixed messages on its stand on the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray state after its foreign affairs ministry retracted a statement that had expressed “support for the unity of Ethiopia”.
The statement had also “reaffirmed Somalia’s solidarity with the government of Ethiopia under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in keeping the constitutional order and respecting the territorial integrity of Ethiopia”.
But hours later it was deleted from the foreign affairs ministry website and the minister, Ahmed Isse Awad, tweeted a denial that Somalia had issued an official statement.
“The statement making rounds does not represent the views of the Federal Government of Somalia, and therefore is not valid,” he said.
Ethiopia launched a military assault against the government of Tigray state on 4 November after accusing it of attacking federal forces.
It also has many troops in neighbouring Somalia who are part of the African Union peacekeeping force (Amisom).
Last week, Somali local media reported that Ethiopia plans to withdraw 3,000 troops from Amisom.