HEADLINES:

US doesn't need Ethiopia in its war on terror in the Horn of Africa

0
Monday May 08, 2017 - 22:19:30 in Articles by Super Admin
  • Visits: 5529
  • (Rating 4.5/5 Stars) Total Votes: 2
  • 1 0
  • Share via Social Media

    US doesn't need Ethiopia in its war on terror in the Horn of Africa

    Earlier this month, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited the Middle East and Africa to "reaffirm key U.S. military alliances" and engage with strategic partners." Mattis only visited the tiny nation of Djibouti in the Horn of Afri

    Share on Twitter Share on facebook Share on Digg Share on Stumbleupon Share on Delicious Share on Google Plus

Earlier this month, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited the Middle East and Africa to "reaffirm key U.S. military alliances" and engage with strategic partners." Mattis only visited the tiny nation of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa where the U.S. maintains its largest military base. Ethiopia was conspicuously absent from the "strategic partner" lineup.

In September 2014, Barack Obama underscored the vital importance of Ethiopia in the U.S. war on terrorism. He noted that cooperation with Ethiopia "is making a difference” and that the "partnerships that we have formed with countries like Ethiopia are going to be critical to our overall efforts to defeat terrorism.”

 

In July 2015, during his state visit, Obama called Ethiopia an "outstanding partner” in the fight against terrorism in the Horn and a "key partner” in resolving the crises in South Sudan. He praised Ethiopia for being "a major contributor to U.N. peacekeeping efforts”, and for its unique role in "contribut(ing) more (peacekeeping) troops than any other country in Africa.”

 

The Mattis visit to Djibouti comes as the U.S. intensifies its military pressure on al-Shabaab, the terrorist group in Somalia with ties to al-Qaeda, which has been fighting for over a decade to establish an Islamic state and force out African Union peacekeeping troops.  

Late last month, President Trump ordered airstrikes against al-Shabaab and approved a Department of Defense proposal "to provide additional precision fires” to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali security forces.  

U.S. military command for Africa (AFRICOM) announced last week that a contingent from the 101st Airborne Division has been deployed in Somalia, the first since 1994, to assist the Somali government with logistical and training support.

In 2017,  there have been no public statements by the Trump administration on Ethiopia’s frontline role in the fight against terrorism.  There has been no mentioned Ethiopia as ally or "strategic partner”, and no acknowledgment of Ethiopia’s role in maintaining regional stability. There has been no hint of re-opening the U.S. drone base, closed down in January 2016, used to surveil and launch strikes on al-Shabaab.  Mattis’ Djibouti visit, conspicuously avoiding Ethiopia, could suggest that the Trump Administration may not view Ethiopia as an indispensable counterterrorism partner in the Horn.  

The only palpable evidence of any link between the ruling regime in Ethiopia and the Trump administration appears to be vague assurances by Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) in February asserting, "Ethiopia is one of the strategic allies of the US in the region in peace and security and the relationship will continue under the new Trump administration.” In 2007, Inhofe zealously opposed legislation designed to promote democracy and human rights in Ethiopia.

In January, the Ethiopian regime showed its deep concern over potential changes in U.S. policy under the Trump administration by hiring SGR Government Relations, Lobbying (Washington, D.C) at a cost of $150,000 per month (for a total contract price of $1.8 million). In my letter to Trump, I argued that it made no sense for a regime whose population, some 20 million of them, is facing dire famine to spend nearly $2 million on lobbying.

Is the Trump administration signaling that Ethiopia is not a "key partner” or "critical to our overall efforts to defeat terrorism” in the Horn region?

One of the four questions on Africa the Trump transition team posed to the State Department in January may offer a glimpse into Trump’s Horn policy: "We’ve been fighting al-Shabaab for a decade, why haven’t we won?”  This manifestly simple question is pregnant with profundity.

When the regime in Ethiopia invaded Somalia in January 2007, then-leader Meles Zenawi declared that it could "take a week or a maximum of two weeks” to wipe out the Islamists, "stay there for a few days to help the transitional government in preserving stability then pull out our troops.”  The "Islamists” were "wiped out,” only to be replaced by the murderous al-Shabaab.

Ethiopian troops left Somalia in January 2009 leaving a good part of that country tightly in the hands of al-Shabaab and sundry other Islamist insurgents.

In 2014, 4,300 Ethiopian troops returned to Somalia as part of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). In the summer of 2016, Ethiopia began to withdraw some 3,000 non-AMISOM soldiers out of south-central Somalia following mass uprising against the ruling regime in various part of Ethiopia.  Al-Shabaab swiftly recaptured and consolidated its control over a number of towns held by the departing Ethiopian and AU soldiers. Despite military pressure, al-Shabaab continues to attack AU bases and carry out suicide bombings.

The cost of fighting  al-Shabaab has increased from an annual $300 million in 2009 to $900 million in 2016. The African Union (AU), which has 22,000 troops deployed in Somalia drawn from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti, is scheduled to complete its mission by 2020.

President-elect Trump accused Obama of "losing the war on terrorism” and pledged to "bomb the hell out of ISIS” and other terrorist groups and armies. On April 14, Trump authorized dropping the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal on ISIS targets in Afghanistan. Is al-Shabaab next?

The Trump administration would be wise to delink its counterterrorism strategy from the Ethiopian regime, which barely clings to power by a state of emergency decree. Ethiopia’s involvement in the domestic affairs of Somalia has made the military and political situation in Somalia worse, and resulted in documented large-scale war crimes and human rights violations. Ethiopia’s involvement is arguably the principal galvanizing cause for the radicalization  of large numbers of Somali youth flocking into the of al-Shabaab and other militant Islamic groups.

The Ethiopian regime has long been a beneficiary of U.S. aid largesse for its counterterrorism cooperation. But Ethiopia’s counterterrorism role has been more self-serving. If not, "We’ve been fighting al-Shabaab (with the full support of Ethiopia) for a decade, why haven’t we won?”   

Alemayehu (Al) Mariam is a professor of political science at California State University, San Bernardino, a constitutional lawyer and Senior Editor of the International Journal of Ethiopian Studies.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

Share on Social Media

Somalia:Hormuud Telecom is the backbone of the terrorists in east and Horn of Africa

Somalia: List of former Hormuud Telecom staff members who joined the terrorists. 1- Former Al Shabab leader Ahmed Godane was a member of Al-Barakaat group in Hargeisa. 2- Head of Amniyat branch of Al Shabab Mahad Karate was part of Al Barakat group in Mogadishu. Full Article

 

Somalia:Mogadishu has fallen back into the hands of terrorists

Waagacusub.com - Huge explosions have rocket the Somali capital. They became incontrollable, as they occur at least twice, while targeting government officials and their offices. Al Shabab terrorists seem to be recapturing the control of Mogadishu after the government troops and police vacated their bases in the front lines in lower and middle Shabelle regions. Full Article

 

Netanyahu: Israel Will Keep Deporting 'Infiltrators', Eritrea-Ethiopia Peace Treaty Will Help Accelerate Expulsion

Netanyahu: Israel Will Keep Deporting 'Infiltrators', Eritrea-Ethiopia Peace Treaty Will Help Accelerate Expulsion Full Article

 

Top Secret: Ethiopia discovered President Mustafa Agjar and his cabinet belong to one religious party

Ethiopian intelligence officials discovered that President Agjar and all the ministers he appointed belong to the religious group Al-Islah Al-Itihad. This became a surprise to them, according to an official who spoke to Waagacusub.com Full Article

 

Ethiopian, Eritrean Leaders Sign Peace Agreement In Saudi Arabia

Ethiopian, Eritrean Leaders Sign Peace Agreement In Saudi Arabia Full Article

 

African Union to secure gains made in Somalia

African Union to secure gains made in Somalia Full Article

 

Ethiopia, Somalia urge dialogue to resolve Eritrea, Djibouti dispute

Ethiopia, Somalia urge dialogue to resolve Eritrea, Djibouti dispute Full Article

 

Ethiopian cargo ship called 'Mekelle' will dock tonight in Eritrean Port

Ethiopian cargo ship called 'Mekelle' will dock tonight in Eritrean Port Full Article

 

Omer Sworn In As Ethiopia's Somali State President As Parliament Revokes Ex Leader Abdi Iley's Immunity From Prosecution

Omer Sworn In As Ethiopia's Somali State President As Parliament Revokes Ex Leader Abdi Iley's Immunity From Prosecution Full Article

 

Ethiopia arrests over 170 anti-peace elements in Oromia region

Ethiopia arrests over 170 anti-peace elements in Oromia region Full Article

 


Leave a comment

  Tip

  Tip

  Tip

  Tip

  Tip


Al-qaida Share ,IBS bank Somalia launches Visa Card Payment

Waagacusub.net - IBS Bank Somalia, which is believed to have the largest amount of money, Al-Qaeda Finance Secretary Fazul Abdallah from Comoros has started issuing Visa Card Payments for the first time. Al-Shabaab's finance secretary confirmed that Mohamed Ali Warsame had $ 157 million in cash, according to Khalif Ereg, who was later bribed with $ 2 million.

UGANDA: New Cabinet Members and Ministers of State

I hereby inform the country that By virtue of the Authority given to the President of Uganda by Articles: 108(2), 108A(1), 113(1) and 114(1) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, I hereby appoint H.E. the Vice President, Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, Honourable Cabinet Ministers and other Ministers as indicated below:

Journalists barred from covering Somali leaders' meeting

The Associated Somali Journalists is deeply concerned that journalists were today barred from covering the meeting of the leaders of the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States (FMSs) as well as the Governor and Mayor of Mogadishu.

ASOJ strongly condemns the wounding of a journalist & arresting another.

ASOJ.ORG - Associated Somali Journalists (ASOJ) is deeply concerned about the escalating violence against Somali journalists in the Gedo region, particularly in Beled Hawo district on the Somali-Kenyan border where a journalist was injured by security forces and another was arbitrarily imprisoned by the local authority.

COVID-19 guidance for journalists and media houses in Somalia

ASOJ.ORG - Associated Somali Journalists has today published New guidance (advices) setting out how journalists and media houses in Somalia can meet their media duties as they navigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Al-qaida Share ,IBS bank Somalia launches Visa Card Payment

Waagacusub.net - IBS Bank Somalia, which is believed to have the largest amount of money, Al-Qaeda Finance Secretary Fazul Abdallah from Comoros has started issuing Visa Card Payments for the first time. Al-Shabaab's finance secretary confirmed that Mohamed Ali Warsame had $ 157 million in cash, according to Khalif Ereg, who was later bribed with $ 2 million. Full Article

 

"UGANDA'S FIGHT AGAINST COVID 19 VIRUS, MAY DWINDLE OR SPARK UNLESS EMBRACED"

Waagacusub.net - Globally, scientists are camping in Laboratories to find a solution to the Covid-19 pandemic. Sometime in 2020, Dr Patrick Engeu Ogwang, an associate professor of Pharmacy at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Uganda, and a team of other researchers under PHARMABIOTRAC developed a herbal biomedical invention called Covidex. This innovation is said to be a broad spectrum natural remedy intended to manage and treat the Covid-19- Corona virus. Full Article

 

Somali Journalists Launch 'Disinformation Lab' to Combat Spread of Fake News.

Waagacusub.net - The Federation of Somali Journalists has launched a campaign to combat the spread of false information, fake news, hate speech and propaganda. The federation says Somalia is already seeing a huge spike in social media misinformation campaigns ahead of elections expected before the end of July. Full Article

 

Oman hold off plucky Somalia to make main draw

Waagacusub.net - Somalia displayed a lot of pluck but were left ruing their luck as Oman advanced to the main draw of the FIFA Arab Cup with a 2-1 win Sunday evening. The Omanis scored twice in the first half of the lively game at the Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium before Somalia pulled one pack nine minutes after the break. Full Article

 

Kenya resumes its diplomatic mission in Somalia

Waagacusub.net - Kenyan ambassador to Somalia Lucas Tumbo has today arrived in Somali capital, Mogadishu barely a week the two countries agreed restore their diplomatic ties. Full Article

 

Former Intel official stripped from NISA membership

Former Intel official stripped from NISA membership Full Article

 

PM KHEYRE USELESS AND COSTY OVERSEAS TRIPS.

PM KHEYRE USELESS AND COSTY OVERSEAS TRIPS. Full Article

 

Abiy says 'New Year' will be celebrated in Eritrea, Ethiopian Airlines to resume flights

Abiy says 'New Year' will be celebrated in Eritrea, Ethiopian Airlines to resume flights Full Article

 

Massive rise in Islamist militant attacks in Africa

Massive rise in Islamist militant attacks in Africa Full Article

 

Argentina Cancels Israel Match After Messi Protests Over Palestinian Killings

Argentina Cancels Israel Match After Messi Protests Over Palestinian Killings Full Article