Since 2011, the United States military has been using the city of Arba Minch in Ethiopia as its base for launching drones. These drones were being used by the US counter-terrorism measures across the East African region.
The drone strikes were mainly targeting the al-Qaeda-linked, al-Shabab militia based in the war-torn country Somalia of Somalia located at the horns of Africa. Despite the existence of a US’s drone base in Arba Minch, the Ethiopian government has consistently denied the existence of such an operation.
The BBC had made inquiries over the same with from the US official, who said that the drones were strictly being used for surveillance only. Not for conducting air strikes. The BBC also made a follow up on the said closure of the drone’s base in Ethiopia.
BBC talked to a US Embassy official based in Addis Ababa who confirmed to the media house. That indeed the US military will be shutting down its drone’s base in Arba Minch. The embassy official said in an email to the BBC that the US and Ethiopian government had reached on an agreement that the US presence was no longer required in Arba Minch.
The official stressed the fact that, “it is important to know our presence at Arba Minch was never meant to be permanent.
Ethiopia has been a close ally of the United States especially when it comes to the fight against the al-Shabab militia in Somalia. Ethiopia government has sent its military to Somalia to fight against the militia and support the recently installed Somalia government administration.