…according to this article:
Over 3000 child soldiers arrived in Afgoye town, 30 km away from Mogadishu, on Tuesday [emphasis added] and started to attack civilians and loot shops, Press TV corresponent reported. The soldiers are estimated to be less than 15 years old and they came to town on foot after 9 days.
Four child soldiers have already been killed in the fighting.
US ambassador to Ethiopia, Donald Yamamoto, says the United States recognizes Ethiopia’s contribution (from this article) in various peacekeeping operations in the region and other areas of conflict in Africa. However, various human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, have cited grave abuses committed by the Ethiopian troops.
Some background on Somalia from the U.S. State Department: the country has faced conflict since 1991, when warlords took over the country after overthrowing their dictator, Mohamed Siad Barre. A couple of years ago, Islamist militants began to take over southern Somalia, including Mogadishu. Troops from Ethiopia were deployed in December 2006 to assist with removing the Islamists from the capital. Ever since, the capital and much of the country has been mired in a civil war between the government and its Ethiopian allies, and the Islamist insurgents.