US to close military base in Ethiopia

US decides to close military base in Ethiopia because it is 'no longer necessary'

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

The US government has decided to close its drone operation base in southern Ethiopia, a US embassy official has announced.

‘’A decision has been reached that the base in Arba Minch, 450 kilometers (280 miles) south of Addis Ababa, is no longer necessary’’, US embassy spokesman David Kennedy told The Associated Press by email.

"US military personnel are no longer in Arba Minch," Kennedy said. "In our ongoing bilateral discussions on defense cooperation, we reached a mutual decision that our presence in Arba Minch is not required at this time."

According to Ethiopian media the military base for drone operations was built in 2011, but the US never publicly confirmed whether it existed.

A security expert in Addis Ababa, who insisted on not giving their name over fears of retribution by the Ethiopian government, said the base was used in attacks against the Al-Shabab militant group in Somalia.

TRTWorld and agencies