From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Mar 14 2009 - 19:50:32 EST
Published: Mar 14, 2009 Share This Article | Send Us A Tip
The Soon To Emerge Crisis In Ethiopia: A Bush Legacy?
by Scott A Morgan
Most of the Critics of American Policy in the Horn of Africa generally
focus on the fiasco in Somalia. But recent reports are indicating that a
Key Regional Ally could possibly be in Danger of Collapsing.
One of the most contested regions in East Africa is the Ogaden Region
which lies along the Border between Ethiopia and Somalia. The Two
Countries fought a Border Conflict in 1977 which saw the Soviet Union
switch its allegiences from Mogadishu to Addis Ababa. After that
conflict the Area became a hotspot in the Cold War. After the Collapse
of the Soviet Union the Governments of both countries collapsed.
Currently there is a Pro-Western Government in Addis Ababa and there is
not a strong centralized Government in Somalia.
Since the Fall of the Siad Barre Government in 1991 Ethiopia has sent
Forces into Somalia on three occasions. On All Three Occasions theses
actions were seen to be proxy conflicts on behalf of the United States.
The latest Incursion in December 2006 had Military Support from the
United States. The US has been concerned about the rise of Somali
Islamists ever since the Day of the Rangers in 1993. In that Battle 18
Members of the US Special Forces were killed trying to apprehend a
Ever Since the Controversial Decision to Prop up the TNG there has been
a plethora of Problems for Prime Minister Zenawi. Obviously the Move was
not popular with the Islamists in Somalia but that decision also led to
rising tensions with Eritrea. The two countries fought a War that led to
the establishment of an Independent Eritrean State. Now tensions are
again rising along the border between the two countries. The Eritreans
have been attempting to have the UN Mission leave its territory and the
Ethiopians are still concerned.
The situation in Somalia is not the reason to be concerned however. The
Area of concern should be the Ogaden Region. Although it has not
garnered major coverage in the International Media it has been reported
by the various Online Media Outlets from the region. According to Some
Outlets a new series of clashes occured last week with reports of heavy
casualties on both sides during the series of skirmishes. In the Past
the Ogaden has been the base of the Anti-Zenawi Opposition in Ethiopia.
What should the United States do in this instance? There has been
Legislation Drafted that would Limit the amount of Military Assistance
to be provided by the US to the Improvement of the Human Rights Climate
in Ethiopia. This is a good Idea. The US should also assist Civil
Society Groups trying to promote Good Governance in Addis Ababa and
other areas of Ethiopia. And it should work with Prime Minister Zenawi
to promote a Free Vibrant and Independent Media. That is what the US
should do at the very least. Now that there is a Change in Washington
maybe that will happen.
Scott A Morgan Publishes Confused Eagle on the Internet
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