Ethiopian Chief of Staff Visits UAE
Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, General Berhanu Jula has paid an official visit to the United Arab Emirates, where he met with the Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and presented a letter from the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Colonel Abiy Ahmed.
According to local sources, Ethiopia is concerned that the UAE is withdrawing drones that have been assisting Ethiopian forces in the fight against the TPLF in northern Ethiopia.
The United Arab Emirates is dismantling parts of a military base it runs in the East African nation of Eritrea after it pulled back from the grinding war in nearby Yemen, satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press show.
The UAE built a port and expanded an airstrip in Assab beginning in September 2015, using the facility as a base to ferry heavy weaponry and Sudanese troops into Yemen as it fought alongside a Saudi-led coalition against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels there.
But the country once praised as “Little Sparta” by former U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis appears to have found the limits of its military expansion in Yemen’s stalemate conflict, experts say. After it withdrew troops from the conflict, the satellite photos show it began shipping off equipment and tearing down even newly built structures.
“The Emiratis are paring back their strategic ambitions and are pulling out of places where they had presences,” said Ryan Bohl, an analyst at the Texas-based private intelligence firm Stratfor. “Having that hard-power deployment exposed them to more risk than the Emiratis are now willing to tolerate.”
It is likely that the new US government pressured the Emirate to withdraw from the war following allegations of abuses by Ethiopian and Eritrean forces in the Tigrean region.
The United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom have called for the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Ethiopia, but Eritrea and Ethiopia have not yet responded.