NAIROBI, Kenya — Ethiopia says its army is pulling out of Somalia, a claim that should be stored in the "believe it when I see it" drawer.
Ethiopian troops last invaded Somalia in big numbers at the tail end of 2006, and they stuck around for a couple of years before departing, leaving behind them a lot of dead civilians, a renewed animosity with their neighbours and a resurgent insurgency in the form of the Shabaab.
Except they never really departed.
Ethiopia regards the bits of land on both sides of its long and porous border with Somalia as its own stamping grounds and has launched cross-border sorties with the kind of gay abandon you can only get away with when your neighbor subsists in government-less chaos. It has also trained, equipped and funded pliant proxy militias.
So declarations that having achieved its mission in taking the town of Beledweyne from the Al Shabaab it is now withdrawing its army, should be treated with scepticism.
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