Conflict In Horn Of Africa Causes And Solutions History Essay
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The conflict in horn of Africa has been going on for centuries. Many people lost their lives due to the unsolved territorial problems between Ethiopia and Somalia and between Ethiopia and Eretria. As we know those countries engaged in a fierce war with each other for quit long period of time which prompted a lot of suffering among the populations of those countries. One might be asking what the cause of this conflict is and why it is so difficult to solve the disputes in a peaceful means and manner. I shall discuss and answer such questions concerning these issues in the following chapters, and I shall write about the root causes of the conflict both historically and politically. In this assignment I will concentrate merely on two countries and they are Somalia and Ethiopia.
.Reason for the selection of the topic
The main reason which I chose this topic is to illuminate the issue of horn of Africa (Somalia and Ethiopia), in terms of political and social problems caused by a bitter and prolonged war which, the international media, rarely cover its root causes and eventually I'll suggest some ideas which might be important if it is to solve the problem between the countries for good.
Problem: What is the reason that the countries in horn of Africa (Ethiopia and Somalia) engaged a fierce war with each other?
2.0. A short background of Somalia
Somalia locates in horn of Africa and many Somali people are nomads who move from place to another to get a green pasture for their animals. Somalis are homogeneous people who share same language, culture and religion Somalia. As it is the case in many African countries, Somalia is colonized by British in North Somalia and Italia in south, better known as British Somaliland, Italian Somaliland and French Somaliland (modern Djibouti). The colonizers not only divided Somalia but also annexed western part of Somalia territory (known as Ogaden) to Ethiopia while they gave south western part of Somalia territory (known as NFD) to Kenya. This "divide and rule" approach caused tremendous war and conflict among the neighboring nations for many years. The war in 1960,s and 1970,s between the two countries attracted the attention of the world
Britain withdrew from British Somaliland in 1960 to allow its protectorate to join with Italian Somaliland and form the new state of Somalia. In 1969, a coup headed by Mohamed SIAD Barre led an authoritarian socialist rule that managed to impose a degree of stability in the country for a couple of decades. One of the main successes achieved by Siad Barre in his term was the orthography or writing of Somali language for the first in Somalia history. After the regime's collapse early in 1991, Somalia descended into chaos and factional fighting, and turmoil. In May 1991, northern clans declared an independent Republic of Somaliland that now includes the administrative regions of Awdal, Waqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag, and Sool. Although not recognized by the international, this region has maintained a quit stability in comparison with the south of the country and continues efforts to get recognition by establishing a constitutional democracy, including holding municipal, parliamentary, and presidential elections.
2.1. Short background of Ethiopia
Ethiopia is in east-central Africa, bordered on the west by the Sudan, the east by Somalia and Djibouti, the south by Kenya, and the northeast by Eritrea. The Blue Nile rises in the northwest and flows in a great semicircle before entering the Sudan. Its chief reservoir, Lake Tana, lies in the northwest.
Fascist Italy invaded Ethiopia on Oct. 3, 1935, forcing Haile Selassie into exile in May 1936. Ethiopia was annexed to Eritrea, then an Italian colony, and to Italian Somaliland, forming Italian East Africa. In 1941, British troops routed the Italians, and Haile Selassie returned to Addis Ababa. In 1952, Eritrea was incorporated into Ethiopia.
On Sept. 12, 1974, Haile Selassie was deposed, the constitution suspended, and Ethiopia proclaimed a Socialist state under a collective military dictatorship called the Provisional Military Administrative Council (PMAC), also known as the Derg. U.S. aid stopped, and Cuban and Soviet aid began. Lt. Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam became head of state in 1977. During this period Ethiopia fought against Eritreans secessionists as well as Somali army.
A group called the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front seized the capital in 1991, and in May a separatist guerrilla organization, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front, took control of the province of Eritrea. The two groups agreed that Eritrea would have an internationally supervised referendum on independence. This election took place in April 1993 with almost unanimous support for Eritrean independence. Ethiopia accepted and recognized Eritrea as an independent state within a few days. The different nationalities in Ethiopia and how they can co-exist without a conflict was always the issue. The question of nationalities in Ethiopia has been the most contentious issue since Ethiopia took its current shape between the late 1880s and the early 1900s. The northern part of the present day Ethiopia, inhabited by the majority Abyssinians and the minority Kushitic Agews existed for over 2 Millennia in the name of the Abyssinian Kingdom with remarkable civilizations such as Axum, Lalibela and Gonder. However, Ethiopia as we know it today is the result of the internal expansion by King Minelik II of Shoa during the late 1880s until the early 1900s. The majority (70%) of the current Ethiopian population, which lives in the southern, western and eastern regions of the country became part of the present day Ethiopia only during this period of internal expansion. The majority Kushitic peoples such as Sidama, Oromo, Afar, Ogaden, etc and the Omotic peoples such as Wolayita, Gamo, Gofa, Dawuro, Konta, etc and the Nilotic peoples living in the border between Ethiopia and the Sudan all became part of the present day Ethiopia between the 1880s and early 1900s.
Historical evidences suggest that the rivalry between the two colonial powers, Britain and France in the horn of Africa, during the Scramble (competition) for Africa, facilitated the rapid Abyssinian expansion towards the south, the east and the west during this period. The two colonial powers provided King Minelik II ample rifles and other war materials that other ethnic groups living in the interior lacked. Therefore the King was able to easily subdue these hitherto independent African Kushitic, Omotic and Nilotic states with in a relatively short period of time.
Although these peoples were annexed over a century ago, due to lack of sustainable economic development and industrialization as well as limited urbanization, 85 % of them still live off subsistence agriculture in rural areas. The peoples of the South, the East and the West have therefore fully preserved their unique cultures, languages, histories and economic systems until today.
Due to the failure of nation building arising primarily from failed economic development and successive dictatorial political systems, the country remained an amalgamation of nations and nationalities who constantly resented being part of a failed state. It is based on this reality that Ethiopians from the South, the East and the West often voice concerns about the issues of nations and nationalities in the past and current Ethiopian politics. This is often misunderstood by their Abyssinian compatriots who unwittingly or intentionally refuse to accept the diversity of the country.
The new government (1991) declared the following declaration:
"Given the Ethiopia's existing situation, the problem of nationalities can be resolved if each nationality is accorded full right to self-governance. This means that each nationality will have regional autonomy to decide on matters concerning its internal affairs. Within its environs, it has the right to determine the contents of its political, economic and social life, use its own language and elect its own leaders and administrators to head its internal organs" (Leenco Latta 1999:201)
Many Ethiopians argue that over mentioned declaration has never been implemented as it is and the current government continues to massacre all its opponents and civilians.
2.2. Historic enmity between Somalia and Ethiopia
The historic enmity between the two countries dates back when Imam Ahmed Ibn Ibrahim better known as "Ahmed Gurey/gragn" who was ethnic Somali general who conquered Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 16th century.
"By the summer at 1532 the Imams well armed troops had overrun almost all Ethiopia,s eastern and southern provinces, among them Dawaro, Bali, Hadeya, Ganz, waj, Fatager and Ifat." (Richard Pankhurst 2001:87)
The Ethiopians were forced to ask for help from the Portuguese, who landed at the port of Massawa on February 10, 1541 in the reign of the emperor Gelawdewos . This force was led by Christopher da Gama, and included 400 musketeers and a number of artisans and other non-combatants. In response, Ahmad received 900 well-armed men from the Ottomans in Yemen to assist him. While the Portuguese expedition were victorious in most of their engagements with Ahmad's forces, da Gama allowed himself to be trapped by Ahmad somewhere north of the Tekezé River, where he was killed along with all but 140 of his troops.
The survivors and Galawedos were able to join forces, and drawing on the Portuguese supplies, they attacked Ahmad on February 21, 1543 in the Battle of Wayna Daga , where their 9,000 troops managed to defeat the 15,000 soldiers under Ahmad. Ahmad was killed by a Portuguese musketeer, who was mortally wounded in avenging da Gama's death. That episode was described in the book "The Ethiopians"
"News of the coming of the Portuguese, and of their powerful military equipment, spread rapidly through northern Ethiopia. Many soldiers who sided with the Imam now abandoned him, and flocked to Lebna Dengel's widow empress Sebla Wangel. Dom Christovao and his companions were able to cross the greater part of Tegray, and joined up with the Empress, and with Bahr Nagash Yeshaq, the ruler of the coastal province, without encountering any opposition. They then proceeded westwards to Dambeya, north of Lake Tana, where the confronted the Imam, who in April 1542 for first time in his career encountered an enemy well equipped with cannons. Wounded in battle he was obliged to retreat, but managed to send an urgent appeal to zebid, and promised, in return for renewed Turkish aid, to become a vassal of the Ottoman emperor, Suleiman II. The Turks responded by immediately providing him with ten fields-guns and 700 well-armed soldiers. Thus greatly strengthened he succeeded in defeating the Portuguese in August, when Dom Christovao was captured and beheaded". (Richard Pankhurst 2001:92)
"In Ethiopia the damage which [Ahmad] Gragn did has never been forgotten," wrote Paul B. Henze. "Every Christian highlander still hears tales of Gragn in his childhood. Haile Selassie referred to him in his memoirs
2.3. Ogaden history
The Ogaden is contentious territory between Ethiopia and Somalia and it is inhabited by ethnic Somalis. The occupied/annexed Somali territory inside Ethiopia lies between Oromia (Ethiopian region inhibited by Ethnic Oromo) to the West, Afar land to the Northwest, the Republic of Djibouti to the north, and Kenya to the south and The Somali Republic to the east. Somali agro-pastorals people with a single language, culture, and socio-economic structure inhabit the Ogaden territory. As a fact in many other African countries, the European imperial powers demarcated borders between Somalia and Ethiopia and the border between Somalia and Kenya without taking the political and social divisions into consideration.
"Imperial partition scattered the Somali people, for example, among five sovereign states. Fellow Somalis were now to be found in British Somaliland, Italian Somaliland, French Somaliland, Ethiopia and Kenya." (Alex Thomson, 2000: 13)
The Ogaden Somali people were free and independent until colonial powers from overseas came to Africa and started arming the Abyssinian chiefs in the north of present day Ethiopia. The Abyssinians using the arms and expertise provided by the colonialists captured Harar in 1884 and started raiding Ogaden Somali villages in that area, killing civilians. The Ogaden Somalis resisted vehemently the encroachment of the Abyssinian expansionists and succeeded in halting their advance. Even though the Abyssinian military campaign to conquer the rest of the Somali territory failed, the colonial powers recognized its claim over the Ogaden Somaliland and signed treaties with them.
In 1935, Italy invaded Abyssinia (Today's Ethiopia) and captured it along with the Ogaden and the territories of other nations in the area. Then the British defeated Italy in the Horn of Africa in 1941, and it administered the Ogaden for eight years until it transferred the first part of the Ogaden (Jigjiga area) to Ethiopia (the Abyssinians) for the first time. The next parts were transferred in 1954 and 1956. Thus, Ethiopia gained the control over the Ogaden without the knowledge or consent of the Ogaden Somalis. From that time onward, successive Ethiopian regimes mercilessly suppressed the Ogaden people and whenever the liberation movements seriously weakened and threatened Ethiopian colonialism, a foreign power directly intervened to re-establish its colonial rule over the Ogaden.
Ethiopia since the beginning of this century and up to now has been characterized by one nation using the powers of state to subjugate and exploit all the other nations within that artificial system. For almost one century, the Abyssinians are abusing the concept of sovereignty and statehood to deprive the rights of other people living under the rule of the artificial state of Ethiopia.
"The historical reality of the process that resulted in its creation also continued to influence the Ethiopian government's interaction with and perception by these peoples. Ethiopian Governments, past and present, are perceived as alien by these people."(Leenco Lata, 1999: 41)
It is historically clear that those suppressed nations inside Ethiopia among them Somalis (Ogaden) have always been struggling to be independent from Ethiopia one day.
Ethiopia is a state founded on colonial doctrine and bases its rule on the use of force and emergency measures for oppressing the majority of the people and exploiting them. Ethiopia claims that African borders inherited from colonialism should be left intact and it inherited the Ogaden territory from the colonial powers. At the same time, Ethiopia is boasting to be the only African state that was never colonized. This means that Ethiopia has been a participating partner with the colonial powers that divided Africa among themselves but has never relinquished its colonial possessions.
To maintain such a colonial state, the rulers had to build a massive military machine and embark on forcefully maintaining one of the most vicious authoritarian rules in the third world. The resultant resistance from the people and the inevitable taxing of material and moral resources of the oppressing elite became Ethiopia Achilles' hill and brought about the downfall of its successive regimes. The relentless resistance of the colonized nations and the consequential resource drainage brought down both the rules of Haille Sellassie and the military Junta of Mengistu.
"The war between Somalia and Ethiopia over Ogaden region in 1964 on the one hand publicized the conflict and brought that cause to the regional and international arenas" (Mohamed Abdi, 2007:60)
2.4. Ogaden war 1977 - 1980
In 1960 northern Somalia got independence from Britain and joined with southern Somalia to form the new state of Somalia. Successive Somali governments objected to the demarcation of the 1,000-mile border with Ethiopia, which was drawn by colonial powers. In 1964, the two countries fought a war over the Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopia, which is home to mainly ethnic Somalis.
In 1977 a big war again erupted between Ethiopia and Somalia over Ogaden Territory. By the beginning of the war, the Somali National Army (SNA) was only 35,000-men strong and was vastly outnumbered by the Ethiopian army. However, throughout the 1970s, Somalia was receiving large amounts of Soviet military aid. The SNA had three times the tank force of Ethiopia, as well as a larger air force.
"By the summer 0f 1977 the Somali victory on the ground was unquestionable, but at the same time the Ethiopian were making headway on the diplomatic front" (Mohamed Abdi, 2007:89)
2.5. Soviet and Egyptian role
In addition to previous Russian fund and arms support to Somalia, Egypt sent millions of dollars in arms to Somalia, established military training and sent experts to Somalia due to Egypt's longstanding policy of securing the Nile River flow by destabilizing Ethiopia.
Even as Somalia gained military strength, Ethiopia grew weaker. In September 1974, Emperor Haile Selassie had been overthrown by the Derg.The Derg military dictatorship that came to power in Ethiopia following the ousting of Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.
(The military council), marking a period of turmoil. The Derg quickly fell into internal conflict to determine who would have primacy. Meanwhile, various anti-Derg as well as separatist movements began throughout the country. The regional balance of power now favored Somalia.
One of the separatist groups seeking to take advantage of the chaos was the pro-Somalia Western Somali Liberation Front Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLf).
The Western Somali Liberation Front was a separatist rebel group fighting in eastern Ethiopia to create an independent state. It played a major role in the Ogaden War of 1977-78 assisting the invading Somali Army. (WSLF) operating in the Somali-inhabited Ogaden area, which by late 1975 had struck numerous government outposts. From 1976 to 1977, Somalia supplied arms and other aid to the WSLF.
2.6. Ethiopia and soviet relationship
Mengistu Haile Mariam was the most prominent officer of the Derg, the military junta that governed Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987, and the President of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia from 1987 to 1991 as head of state on 11 February, 1977. However, the country remained in chaos as the military attempted to suppress its civilian opponents. Despite the violence, the Soviet Union, which had been closely observing developments, came to believe that Ethiopia was developing into a genuine Marxist-Leninist state and that it was in Soviet interests to aid the new regime. They thus secretly approached Mengistu with offers of aid that he accepted. Ethiopia closed the U.S. military mission and the communications center in April 1977.
In June 1977, Mengistu accused Somalia of infiltrating SNA soldiers into the Somali area to fight alongside the WSLF. Despite considerable evidence to the contrary, Barre insisted that no such thing was occurring, but that SNA "volunteers" were being allowed to help the WSLF.
Somalia decided to make a decisive move and invaded the Ogaden in 13 July 1977.
Jijiga is a city in eastern Ethiopia and the capital of the Somali Region of that country and locates in the Jijiga Zone approximately 80 km east of Harar and 60 km west of the border with the Republic of Somalia; this city has been inflicted heavy casualties on assaulting forces. The Ethiopian Air Force is the air arm of the Military of Ethiopia and is tasked with protecting the air space, providing support to the ground forces as well as assisting during national emergencies.
Air superiority is the dominance in the air power of one side's air forces over the other sides during a military campaign. It is defined in the NATO Glossary as "That degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another that permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea, and air forces at a given time"
The USSR, finding itself supplying both sides of a war, attempted to mediate a ceasefire. When their efforts failed, the Soviets abandoned Somalia. All aid to Siad Barre's regime was halted, while arms shipments to Ethiopia were increased. Plus Soviet advisors flooded into the country along with around 15,000 from Cuba.
The greatest single victory of the SNA-WSLF was a second assault on Jijiga in mid-September, in which the demoralized Ethiopian troops withdrew from the town. The local defenders were no match for the assaulting Somalis and the Ethiopian military was forced to withdraw past the strategic strongpoint of the Marda Pass, halfway between Jijiga and Harar.
By September Ethiopia was forced to admit that it controlled only about 10% of the Ogaden and that the Ethiopian defenders had been pushed back into the non-Somali areas of Harerge, Bale, and Sidamo Province
However, the Somalis were unable to press their advantage because of the high level of attrition among its tank battalions, constant Ethiopian air attacks on their supply lines, and the onset of the rainy season, which made the dirt roads unusable. During that time, the Ethiopian government managed to raise a giant militia force in its 100,000s and integrated it into the regular fighting force. Also, since the Ethiopian army was a client of U.S weapons, hasty acclimatization to the new Warsaw-pact bloc weaponry took place.
From October 1977 until January 1978, the SNA-WSLF forces attempted to capture Harar, where 40,000 Ethiopians backed by Soviet-supplied artillery.
Artillery is a military Combat Arms which employs any apparatus, machine, an assortment of tools or instruments, a system or systems used as weapons for the discharge of large projectiles in combat as a major contribution of fire power within the overall military capability of an armed force And Armored fighting vehicle
The Ethiopians had regrouped with 1500 Soviet advisors and 11,000 Cuban soldiers. Though it reached the city outskirts by November, the Somali force was too exhausted to take the city and was eventually forced to retreat outside and await an Ethiopian counterattack.
The expected Ethiopian-Cuban attack occurred in early February. However, it was accompanied by a second attack that the Somalis were not expecting. A column of Ethiopian and Cuban troops crossed northeast into the highlands between Jijiga and the border with Somalia, bypassing the SNA-WSLF force defending the Marda Pass. The attackers were thus able to assault from two directions in a "pincer" action, allowing the re-capturing of Jijiga in only two days while killing 3,000 defenders. The Somali defense collapsed and every major Ethiopian town was recaptured in the following weeks. Recognizing that his position was untenable, Siad Barre ordered the SNA to retreat back into Somalia on 9 March 1978. The last significant Somali unit left Ethiopia on 15 March 1978, marking the end of the war.
3.0. Somali state collapse and shift of balance of power in horn of Africa
Already in 1980's many rebels supported by Ethiopian government were aiming to oust the former president of Somalia Mohamed said Barre. By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre's government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre's effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC forces advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed opposition factions removed Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government.
"State collapse in Somalia had become a fact of life in the region. Ethiopia and Somalia both saw the end of dictatorial rule in 1991. But whereas Ethiopia had picked itself up and reconfigured its political landscape, Somalia's clan based political dynamics had consistently worked against the re-establishment of a central government. Somalia was fragmented, but by the late 1990s some of its fragments, Notably Somaliland and Punt land in the northwest and northeast of the country respectively, had established their own administrations that fulfilled most of the functions of government"
As one can imagine the losses and repercussions of the civil war was almost irretrievable.
"The human cost was terrible. Thousands of civilians were killed and wounded, and at least half a million fled their homes seeking across the border in Ethiopia and in the republic of Djibouti. Thousands of refugees eventually found refuge in Canada, Britain, Scandinavia, Italy and the USA" (Ioan Lewis, 2008:71).
3.1. The rise of warlords and the rise of ICU and Ethiopian intervention with economical support from USA
With the collapse of the state in January 1991, Somalia became the first country in modern history to become stateless. Consequently, lawlessness became rampant in the country and criminal militias and gangs terrorized the population. A little over a year after the Somali state collapsed, violent confrontations developed between two competing factions in Mogadishu which finally led to one of them using food as a weapon against vulnerable population in southwestern region of the country in Baidoa. Farmers in the region were unable to cultivate their fields due to the fear caused by gangs and with warlords blocking food shipments to the region thousands of people began to slowly waste away. By the time the news media took note of the problem an awful famine was in full swing and tens of thousands of people were deliberately condemned to death through starvation. The United Nations which had a small contingent of peace-keepers was unable to clear bandits off the roads in order to deliver food aid to those who need it. Life conditions became so bad that the first President Bush was moved to act and ordered thousands of American troops to enter Somalia in order to open the roads so emergency food aid can urgently get through to the people. The troops were able to accomplish this task with relative ease and as a result tens of thousands of lives were saved. By contrast, rebuilding Somalia's government from scratch was more difficult, even under the best of circumstances, but the US/UN force had ill-defined mandate and got bad advice regarding the causes of Somalia's disintegration. American/UN agenda of rebuilding the government was incoherent and led to a failure in which 18 American soldiers were killed by the militias of one of the warlords of Mogadishu. By then a new American President, Clinton, was so shaken by this singular event that he decided to evacuate US forces from Somalia. Other nations who had contributed troops to the campaign and the UN followed and Somalia was left to the warlords.
The terror of Warlords became the order of the day since 1995 and several attempts to form a national government failed. A most promising effort in this regard was in the neighboring state of Djibouti where representatives of nearly all Somali civil society groups were invited in 1999 excluding warlords. The conference successfully led to the establishment of a Transitional National Government (TNG). However, the Ethiopian government which had supported many of the warlords, particularly Mr. Abdullahi Yusuf, and supplied them with weapons over the years was not happy about the prospect of a civic administration and worked against it from the start. The combination of Ethiopian sabotage and Somali leaders' incompetence destroyed this precious chance. At one point the Ethiopian Foreign Minister told the TNG's Foreign Affair chief that Ethiopia will be able to support the Somali government on the condition that their ally, Mr. Yusuf, was appointed as prime minister. The Ethiopian minister was not pleased when he was told that the responsibility to appoint and confirm the PM rested with the president and parliament. In the meantime, Ethiopia used its diplomatic influence in Africa and elsewhere to call for yet another Somali reconciliation conference with the pretext of forming an "inclusive" government while it continued to supply the warlords with weapons. The proposal was accepted by the Intergovernmental Agency on development (IGAD) and there started another reconciliation process in which the mediators (Kenya and Ethiopia) openly favored and supported the warlords. After two years of negotiations the conference was brought to a conclusion without any reconciliation among Somalis. The Ethiopian government successfully attained its goals of wasting the remaining time of the TNG's tenure, enabled the warlords to appoint more than two-thirds of the members of parliament, and finally succeeded in having its clients selected as president and prime minister.
American policy, during the long two years of negotiations in Kenya, was characterized by tacit support for warlords' domination of the conference. In the main, the US representatives in Kenya watched the process from the sidelines and seemed they did not like the quality of the output in the form of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). For nearly two years after the formation of the TFG the American government remained disinterested in the affairs of the TFG. Instead it financed the formation of so called "anti-terror alliance" which consisted of the very warlords who have killed the population for over a decade. America's objective in supporting the warlords was to find and arrest three people accused of being involved in the attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and who were presumed to be hiding somewhere in southern Somalia. The warlords' contract with the CIA also included capturing or killing those who were considered radical Islamists. America's warlord project backfired as the majority of Mogadishu's population sided with the Muslim leaders and rooted the warlords out. American policy makers panicked with the formation of the Union of Islamic Courts (UICs) and the liberation of Mogadishu and surrounding region from the tyranny of the warlords. Shortly after UICs took over Mogadishu senior American policy makers began to speak about the "internationally legitimate" government of Somalia and actively used America's diplomatic and other resources to bestow respect on what it previously considered week operation. Meanwhile, Ethiopia activated its propaganda machine and accused the courts of trying to establish a fundamentalist regime which it claimed will endanger its security despite the fact that Somalia did not have an army. It immediately gave a "protection" force for its client Somali government holed in the regional center of Baidoa. As the Courts spread their reach into most parts of southern Somalia, Ethiopia increased its troop presence in Baidoa into several thousand heavily armed units. The US government encouraged this invasion and used its diplomatic muscle to shield Ethiopia from international criticism. The united American-Ethiopian propaganda machine completed the demonization of the courts as a fundamentalist organization in cahoots with Al Qaida. This joint effort led to US government sponsoring a resolution at the Security Council, 1725, which mandated the deployment of an African Union force in Somalia aimed at protecting the TFG and stabilizing the country. Other countries in the Security Council insisted and prevailed that those countries who share a border with Somalia must not be part of the African force. America and Ethiopia were worried that the Courts might overrun their client in Baidoa before the African Union force was in place. Consequently, Washington gave Ethiopia the green light to take on the Courts and openly invade Somalia, contrary to the tenets of the UN Security Council Resolution. Ethiopia's invasion of Somalia was accomplished four weeks after the UN resolution was passed in violation of two UN Security Council Resolutions. Attempts by some members of the Security Council to demand Ethiopian withdrawal was blocked by the American government. While most analysts knew that America was involved in the invasion, it was the use of American airpower against villages in Southern Somalia in early January 2007 that confirmed how deeply the US was involved. About 73 nomadic individuals and their livestock were killed by the air raid and no one openly condemned this aggression, including the AU. More recently, it has been discovered that American, British, and hired supported the Ethiopian invasion. Now the Ethiopian troops pulled out of Somalia after 2 years of insurgency and resistance against the Ethiopian presence in south Somalia. But the central question between the two countries is not yet solved and that shows how instable and volatile this region is in the future.
3.2. Solution to this conflict
The crises and the conflicts between the countries can be solved if all the stakeholders including the western countries are sincere in solving this problem. First and foremost, it is important that every community under Ethiopian occupation among them Ogaden and Oromos must be given independence and self-determination. Since the western powers created mess in this region at the era of colonization, the must now contribute to solve the crises in horn of Africa.
The other issue is that the western powers should stop their economical and diplomatic support to the dictators like Zanawi who use the economy to subjugate and humiliate other nations in Ethiopia and wage war against the neighboring countries instead of feeding his own starving populations inside Ethiopia. The Ethiopian dictator is in power for almost 20 years and he shows no intention of leaving the power. In 2005 many opposition members and supporters were either killed or arrested after they complained about election results which were apparently rigged. According the western election observers the election was free and fair.
4. Didactic and project method
The project method is an educational way in which children solve a practical problem over a period of several days or weeks. It may involve finding out about facts of issue or for example country. The projects may be suggested by the teacher, but projects are planned and executed as far as possible by the pupils themselves, individually or in groups. Project work focuses on applying, not imparting, specific knowledge or skills, and on improving pupil`s involvement and motivation in order to stimulate independent thinking, self-confidence, and social responsibility.
According to traditional historiography, the project idea is a genuine product of the American Progressive education movement especially Kilpatrick who used this method. The pupils in primary schools may use project method to find out the reasons of conflict in horn of Africa. It means that the pupils will work freely on the project but under guidance of the teacher.
"He (the teacher) must be adviser and give guidelines on the way in the project. (Illeris, 1981 in the Engelsen 2006:224)
The horn of African crises is as complicated as it is and it needs a long time to solve those political and economical problems. It might even take long time if the status quo is not changed especially in terms of leadership and justice. Many atrocities and genocide committed by ruling regime in Ethiopia are reported by the human rights and aid organizations in Ogaden. Some of human rights organizations denounced the military operations in Ogaden saying that the regime is doing hidden ethnic cleansing. It is also worth note to mention about the border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea which affects the whole region. I have to admit that this topic is much broader than I presented in this assignment and the issue and solutions can be in several perspectives.
6.0. Reference and notes
Alex, Thomson (2000). An introduction to African politics. USA and Canada: Routledge.
Lewis, Ioan (2008). Understanding Somalia and Somaliland. London: HURST Publishers Ltd.
Doornbos, Lionel Cliffe, Abdel Ghaffar M. ahmed & john Markakis (1992). Beyond the conflict in the horn: London: James Curry Ltd.
Lata, Leenco (1999). The Ethiopian State at the Crossroads. Asmara: The Red Sea Press, Inc.
Pankhurst, Richard (2001). The Ethiopians: Parker Shipton.
Abdi, Mohamed (2007). A history of the Ogaden. London: Mohamud, UK.
Engelsen, Britt (2006). Kan læring planlegges? Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk.
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