Post-Conflict Analysis of the Ethio-Somali War

Topics: Ethiopia, Somalia, Ogaden Pages: 14 (3393 words) Published: August 30, 2013
 

Ethio-Somali War
Conflict Analysis Paper
By: Sanjana Rastogi

 

Sanjana
 Rastogi
 
 

SSLA
 

19/04/2013
 

Ethio-Somali War
The focus of this paper is on an inter-state, post-conflict analysis of Ethio-Somali War, which lasted for one year (1977-1978). The main objective of this paper is to analyze the conflict and recommend possible solutions. As an expert peace builder, I will understand the root causes of this conflict, the factors that promoted the conflict and finally give my opinion on how the occurrence of the conflict could haven been prevented. In addition, I will propose peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace building strategies that would have helped during and after the conflict. The Ethio-Somali War also known as the Ethiopian-Somali Conflict, or, the Ogaden War was a conventional clash between two neighboring countries, located in the “Horn of Africa”. The war broke out after Said Barre’s regime in Somalia sought to incorporate the predominantly Somali-inhabited Ogaden region which is located in the Ethiopian territory. At the beginning of the war in 1977, Soviet Union was providing aid in the form of ammunition to equip the Somali army. On the other hand, USA was supporting the Ethiopian army. However, during the war Soviet Union backstabbed Somalia due to political reasons and started supporting the Ethiopian army. The immediate reaction of Somalia was to make USA its ally. Somali army, with the help of Soviet Union was able to conquer 90% of the Ogaden region but after the Soviet Union switched sides, the Ethiopian army became stronger. In 1978, the Ethiopian army was able to retake the Ogaden region back from Somalia. Finally, on the 1st of march 1978, a truce was declared between the two countries that marked the end of the war. The Ogaden region in Ethiopia is now called the Somali Region of Ethiopia.

1
 
 

Sanjana
 Rastogi
 
 

SSLA
 

19/04/2013
 

In the Ogaden War, there were historical, inter-state (i.e. borderline boundary disagreement), cultural and socio-political factors that contributed in its continuum. In early 1900’s, Somalia was divided into three parts namely French Somaliland, which is now Djibouti, British Somaliland in the North western part of Somalia and Italian Somaliland in the South eastern part of Somalia. One of the historical root causes of the commencement of the war, was the treaty of 1897, which was established by the British Somaliland: whereby the British ceded the Somali territory of the Ogaden region to the Ethiopian Emperor Menelik-II in exchange for his help against plundering by Somali Clans. Moreover, Menelik-II reigned during the era of emergence of European colonialism but succeeded in preventing the establishment of colonial rule in his country. Therefore, when two forceful attempts of the British to colonize Ethiopia failed, it became imperative for the British to have friendly relations with its neighbor. In order to sustain a healthy relationship they gave away the Ogaden region of Somalia to Ethiopia that constituted a large part of the ethnic Somali population. Nonetheless, Britain included a proviso during the treaty that the Somali nomads will have the power to retain their autonomy whenever required. In 1956, Britain prompted a bid to buy back the Somali lands that it had turned over to Ethiopia as per the proviso made during the treaty of 1897, but Ethiopia immediately claimed sovereignty over them. Accordingly, when the northwestern part of Somalia gained independence in 1960 from the British, they demarcated a borderline that was recognized internationally: which failed to include the Ogaden region. This was a major inter-state borderline boundary disagreement factor that contributed to the Ogaden war. 2  

 

Sanjana
 Rastogi
 
 

SSLA
 

19/04/2013
 

Another very important factor that the British forgot to consider while handing over the Somali...
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