US officials have revealed that their decision to close the Arba Minch drone base in southern Ethiopia this week came at the behest of Ethiopian officials, who wanted to close a facility that was only intended to be temporary.
The Arba Minch base was the only publicly acknowledged US drone base in Ethiopia, and while it was originally supposed to be for surveillance drones, officials also say it was used for drone strikes against targets in both Somalia and Yemen.
The closure is likely to mean the return of US drones to the base in Djibouti. They’d previously halted flights out of there over concerns about accidents, but massive upgrades to the base are likely to make it the obvious choice.
As the US looks to increase the number and intensity of its drone wars across the world, they’ve been scrambling to establish more such bases. The number of bases the US is operating from at any given time isn’t always clear, and a lot of nations seem willing to host sites only to the extent their remain secret.