In December 2006, at the request of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, and in reluctant response to the calls by the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) for a jihad against Ethiopia and a renewal of Somali irredentist claims against Ethiopia (and Kenya), Ethiopia deployed some 16,000 troops to assist the TFG in its conflict with the ICU, successfully driving the ICU out of Mogadishu in a matter of days , and assisting the TFG in its efforts to deal with various extremist groups, notably Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu and other areas. The ICU, Al-Shabaab and other extremist groups received arms and funds from Eritrea. The Ethiopian forces, which after early 2007 were operating on behalf of IGAD and the AU, left in January 2009, handing over to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMSIOM), made up of Ugandan and later Burundian troops.

Ethiopia's support for peace and security in the region has been the driving force behind its role in the regeneration and revitalization of regional organizations such as the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), covering the Horn of Africa and in the setting up of the Sana'a Forum for Cooperation (composed of Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti and Yemen). IGAD, of course, is one of the African Union's Regional Economic Communities for African integration. The organization has played an important role in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan, has been active in trying to resolve the problems of Somalia, and in setting up mechanisms for cross-border cooperation generally throughout the region.

Ethiopia was a founder member of the Organization of African Union, and is the seat of the African Union. It therefore carries a special responsibility for the AU and fully subscribes to the AU's vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent providing a dynamic force in the global arena. From its leading role in support of  African liberation movements,as virtually the only independent African state, Ethiopia consistently gave aid and assistance  to the anti-colonial and anti-apartheid struggles particularly in Southern Africa [Picture links?? – New AU HQ] It has played a major role in championing Africa in global forums, with notable reference to climate change, in G8 and G20 meetings and other international bodies.

It has also shown similar interest in and cooperation with the United Nations of which it was a founding member. It has consistently discharged its obligations to the UN, cooperating in collective security and peacekeeping operations in Korea and Congo, as well as elsewhere, most recently in providing a UN peacekeeping force for Abyei in Sudan (in 2011).

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