The US government has shut down its drone operation base in southern Ethiopia.
A US Embassy spokesperson in Ethiopia David Kennedy told The Associated Press by email that a decision has been reached that the facilities in Arba Minch, 450km south of Addis Ababa, are no longer necessary.
“U.S. 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.”
Ethiopian media reported about the base when it was set up in 2011, but the US has never publicly confirmed the existence of the base. A security expert in Addis Ababa said the base was used to attack Islamic extremists in Somalia.
Ethiopia is a staunch US ally in East Africa and has sent hundreds of troops to Somalia to counter the Islamic extremist rebel group, al-Shabaab