Islamic militants have warned Ethiopia to pull its troops out of Somalia within a week or face a holy war. They say Addis Ababa has deployed at least thirty thousand soldiers in the country to protect the interim Somali government. The United Nations urges the Islamists not to make good on their threat, fearing war would engulf the whole region.
The militants took Mogadishu and territory to the south of Somalia in June.
Ethiopia argues it has sent only a few hundred military advisers to aid the government, not thousands of soldiers. The UN says the troops will leave in any case once peacekeepers arrive, not a option relished by the Islamists.
There has been civil war in Somalia since 1991. The interim administration put in place two years ago has the backing of the UN and the West. But it has not been able to restore stability to the country.