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Why Ethiopia sent it's troops to Somalia?
Way before the emergence of ICU, Ethiopia was concerned about the flow of the massive weapon that was streaming from the open market in Mogadishu which was ending up in the hands of the rebel groups fighting the Ethiopia government, such as ONLF and OLF, who had easy to access to purchase the weapon, and create havoc. Since the fall of Siyad Barre regime and the fall of Mangistu Haile Mariam,the current Ethiopian government was eager to heal the wounds afflicted by Barre and Mangistu between the Somali people and the Ethiopian people in order that the two brotherly countries could co-exist side by side at peace with each other.
When the USC of Somalia captured South Somalia, every body including the Ethiopians were hopping that a just government would emerge, a government that could settle the animosity that had existed between Ethiopia and Somalia since all factions that overthrew Siyad and Mangistu had bases and support in Ethiopia and Somalia respectively. All factions were also aware that the 1977 war between Ethiopia and Somalia was instigated by the dictators, Siyad and Mangistu to silence the internal uprising and pre-occupy the people's thoughts on external conflict.
Unfortunately for Somalia and Ethiopia the USC which took over Mogadishu and most of South Somalia, which was mostly of the Hawiye clan that was exploited by the Barre minority clan in their own territory turned their guns against each other after it split into two sub-clans, Abgal and Habargidir, led by the two warlords, late Aideed and Ali Mahdi, which led to the formation of the Green Line which divided Mogadishu into South,the Habargidir block and the North block, after eight months of heavy in Mogadishu with weapon taken from Siyad Army. The prolonged conflict between the Abgals and Habargidir disrupted the food aid and other humanitarian assistance to reach the civil war ravaged people of South Somalia, which led to the USA involvement, Operation Restore Hope, to rescue the starving Somalis.
From then on after USA left in late 1995 the Abgals and Habargidirs split into more faction/sub-subclans and more Warlords, like Qanyare, Aato, Sudi, Omar flish, Mohamed Dhere and others emerged with own militias drawn from sub-subclans each controlling it's block, as Somalis of same clan and sub-subclan inhabitants in cities and countryside is based on clan and sub-subclan affiliation. This led to the take over of airport, port and other national institutions by different Sub-clan, which led to a continues fight and clashes among the sub-clans of Hawiye militia and caused the closure of airport and sea ports and the emergence mini ports and airports controlled by different rival Warlords, each importing/ exporting, goods/weapon for revenue and salary for their militias.
The conduct of the Warlords importing various weapons and it's availability to any buyer be it OLF, ONLF or for a personal protection alarmed the Ethiopians and pushed Ethiopia to get involved in Somalia's politics and the formation of Somalia's future governments. Ethiopia supported various Warlords who were at each other throat for the revenue and check points hopping that one day a Warlord would lead a Somali government and forge cooperation to tackle the flow of weapon to the factions fighting the Ethiopian Federal Government.
While Somalia was under the reign of various Warlords and Ethiopia's fear of the flow of weapon from the open market in Somalia grow, Ethiopia forged a bilateral agreement on security and economic cooperation with the Somaliland Republic, which declared it's withdrawal/independent from the union with Somalia, after the collapse of Siyad Barre regime and have enjoyed peace and continues economic growth from the Ethiopia's consumer power and the booming Berbera port which the Ethiopian merchants use for import/export.
After the Somaliland economy expanded because of livestock export to Arab countries and many Ethiopians merchants decreased their usage of the Djibouti Port, the Djibouti government became hostile toward Somaliland and announced The Arta Somali reconciliation, after making deal with Egypt, Abdul Qasim and other Arab governments to support the reconciliation just to curtain and sabotage the Somaliland completion. The Arta leadership which enjoyed good relation with Arabs particularly Saudi Arabia, convinced the Saudis not to take the livestock from Somaliland.
The Saudis then banned the livestock from Somaliland for the alleged Rift Valley Fever, to bring Somaliland's economy to its knees, hopping that it would surrender to the Arta Faction.
Another reason why Djibouti fabricated the Arta faction was to limit the Ethiopian usage of the Barbara port to continue, it’s harassment of the Ethiopian merchants by increasing the tax and by black mailing. Furthermore the Arta Faction was created simply as a business deal between Gelle and Abdul Qasim and to intimidate the Ethiopians that a strong Somali government was on horizon and that the Barbara Port would be run by the Arta Faction, Djibouti partner.
After the sabotage of the Somaliland economy didn't work and the Djibouti economy deteriorated, 9/11 became a god sent fortune for Djibouti, after the USA and other coalition forces of war against terrorism chose Djibouti for strategic location to compact terrorism; Djibouti benefits from the coalition and its economy became strong. Even though the Djibouti economy grew by the coalition forces stationed there, no too long Djibouti was contemplating to convince the Saudis and other Arab nations to take only the livestock shipped from Djibouti for the whole Horn Africa including Somaliland, to destroy Somaliland only.
IN 2000 after the formation of the Arta Faction, Somaliland became a major propaganda target and accusation center by many so called politicians and intellectuals, like the Samatars of Minneapolis, Minnesota who were a mouth piece of the Gelle of Djibouti and the Arta Faction, to demoralize the Somaliland people by playing the Somali Nationalism Card and to seek attention from non Somalilanders. The Samatars who call themselves intellectuals and Somali Nationalist have never criticized the dictatorial regime of Djibouti, and see the Gelle of Djibouti as a Somali hero who stood for the unity of Somalia and its survival, while they call Somaliland a secessionist, instead encouraging the other Somalis including Djibouti to follow the Somaliland footstep for democratization and reconciliation.
After the Arta faction moved to Mogadishu, the Arta leadership carried on to advocate for Somali Nationalism, while it was not near Somali Nationalist but a particular interest group, whom task became badmouthing Somaliland and Ethiopia instead of encouraging dialogue and cooperation with Somaliland and Ethiopia. The accusation of the Ethiopians of portioning Somalia and oppressing the Somali Ethiopians, pushed the Ethiopian to form the SRRC group to challenge the Arta Group, and support the SRRC to takeover South Somalia hopping to have a partner and friendly government in Somalia, that could put an end to the flow of weapon to factions at war with Ethiopia, like ONLF and OLF.
The Arta faction in Mogadishu became just another faction, since Mogadishu was under the control of different Warlords who were not invited to the so called Arta reconciliation in Djibouti, which finally led to it's failure.
In 2002 the Ethiopian government and other IGAD members called the Somali Warlords to the Mbagathi’s, Kenya reconciliation to form a transitional government chosen by the Parliament members handpicked by each Warlord. After two years of talking the Parliament handpicked by the Warlords chose a Warlord president, Abdillahi Yusuf, from many candidates of Warlords. Then Yusuf chose Gedi as the Prime prime minister, and Gedi filled his ministerial position with all the rest of other Warlords. The government came after all the Warlords agreed to form a transitional government, complete the reconciliation and to pave the way for a democratically elected government. Ethiopia was hopping unlike the Arta Reconciliation where the Warlords were banned to participate and failed because of failure to invite the stakeholders of Somalia, Warlords that the Mbagathi Government might work since the Warlords agreed to disarm and support the TFG.
In 2004 before the TFG moved and settled in Jawhar,it had already split into two groups, Abdillahi Yusuf and his supporters and the Mogadishu, Banadir Warlords, like Qanyare, Aato, Sudi and others who became suspicious of the Warlord President, Yusuf, after he appealed for foreign troops including Somalia's neighbors to disarm, the Mogadishu warlords. Yusuf, the current Warlord president, a well know clan minded and tribalist had also his own hidden agenda, get even with the Hawiye Clan by using a third party like Ethiopia to kill and displace the Hawiye residents from Mogadishu and surroundings who chased the Majertens from Mogadishu after Siyad regime collapsed. The Majerten who oppressed and exploited the Hawiye during Sharmarke and Adul-razack governments, both Majerten/Darod, in sixties their purpose became corruption self-enriching land grabbing from the powerless Hawiye until they were removed from power in 1969 by Siyad Barre, Marehan/Darod, Hawiye rival. The Current Warlord president, Yusuf, who was perceived as an outsider and arch enemy of the Hawiye, made things worse after he kept saying that his Puntland clan militia will take part in disarming the Mogadishu Warlords/Hawiye with the help of third party.
The Warlords of Mogadishu, like Sudi, Qanyare and others feared that they would be disarmed by force and began removing their Militia outside the city in order to make them join the TFG militia that were trained to become the national army, which the Warlords disagreement made it impossible to put their militia together and finally gave up. After the Warlords failed to come to terms and remove their militia from the Capital, the Mogadishu the people lost hope and turned their support to the ICU which was gaining grounds as an organization which united the warring Hawiye militia to face their common/Hawiye enemy, the Warlord president, Yusuf, which led to the removal of the Warlords from the Capital.
After the ICU kicked out the Warlords, they also appealed to the other parts of South Somalia as an Islamic organization and sought support from other parts of Somalia to join them to get rid off the TFG and spread the ICU rule to all Somalia, after few so called clan elders waived their hand to the ICU from Puntland, Bay and Bakol. The ICU kept marching to all direction of Somalia to spread their rule and declared Jihad on Ethiopia, the TFG supporter.
The TFG which was based in Baidoa after she left Jowhar asked Ethiopia to come to it's rescue from the marching ICU, which finally led to the removal of the ICU from the Capital and it's surroundings at end 2006. Ethiopia who invested so much to help the Somalis put together a government accepted by all the warring Warlords to pave the way for democratically elected government, had no choice but face any challenge weakening the TFG of Warlords and brought the TFG in Mogadishu..
Ethiopia might have played a role for the election of the current Warlord president, Yusuf, SRRC member, because it was obvious to her that the Warlords of Mogadishu would never come to terms unless an outsider warlord, Yusuf, is used against them to bring peace in Mogadishu and it's surroundings. Ethiopia was also under the impression since the Arta Government failed for not allowing the Warlords to participate in the reconciliation, the Mbagathi Government might work and she could forge a good relation with it's neighbor to stop the flow of weapon from the lawless Somalia reaching the faction creating chaos in parts of Ethiopia and slowing the development of those parts, like the Somali Ethiopian region.
In reality the current Ethiopian Federal Government has never meant to harm the people of Somalia, and has been waiting for so long, patiently that one day a government chosen by the people of Somalia would take hold and forge a neighborly and friendship with Ethiopia like Somaliland, to once and for all stop the Flow of weapon from the lawless Somalia into Ethiopia.
It's unfortunate to see the dead bodies of Ethiopian army dragged in the streets Mogadishu and the allegation of Ethiopian troops indiscriminately shelling the suspected insurgent hideout and populated area of the capital, simply because of the strong, deep and clan sub-clan loyalties that have divided the Somali society and played by the Warlords and the so called leaders. Like the Current Warlord president who invited the Ethiopians not to bring law and order, but to help him humiliate and kill his arch enemy, Hawiye elites and Warlords who share same mentality like his. Today Ethiopia is caught between rock and hard place, a warlord president who's full filing clan legacy/minority rule, and young men resisting clan supremacy/ oppression.
Ethiopia's involvement in Somalia, was not to support x clan vs. y clan but create rule and law, a government that she could live in peace with,like Somaliland where she doesn't have to worry about weapon flowing to the rebels, OLF and ONLF, fighting the Ethiopian Federal Government.
Ethiopia has every right to preserve the unity and the harmony among it's different nationalities, because disintegrated Ethiopia would lead to unstable Horn Of Africa and bloodshed among the different nationalities in Ethiopia, worse than bloodshed among the clans of Somalia, and it's the interest of all the Ethiopian Nationalities, Somaliland, Djibouti and Somalia..
Finally Ethiopia needs for the Current TFG to work, she needs work on that the current Prime Minister Cadde Hussein to have more power than the Warlord president, Yusuf, as Cadde seems more knowledgeable who could win the trust of his clan, Hawiye, where Yusuf dictatorship and nepotism is distancing the clan, after he surrounded himself with his clans men like Morgan, The Butcher of Hargeysa and others, because of his narrow mindedness and tribalism.