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Ethiopia Marks Yearlong Occupation in Somalia
By Joe De Capua
24 December 2007
Listen to De Capua interview with David Shinn mp3 audio clip
It was Christmas Day a year ago that the situation in Somalia changed dramatically. That’s when Ethiopia invaded and drove out forces belonging to the Islamic Courts Union. However, Ethiopia’s initial, decisive military victory has turned into a yearlong occupation with no end in sight.
Among those who’ve been following developments of the past year in Somalia is Professor David Shinn of George Washington University. Dr. Shinn is a former US ambassador to Ethiopia. From Columbus, Ohio, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about the events of 2007.
“I think a lot of people are surprised that the Ethiopians are still there and still trying to figure out how to get out of Somalia. I’m convinced they’d very much like to leave but feel they’re sort of stuck. And I’m almost certain they’re surprised at the situation that they are in. And I think a lot of other people are too, although frankly it should have been fairly predictable that this was not going to go very smoothly,” he says.
Shinn adds, “It’s a very difficult situation. The situation on the ground is still very difficult and has not really improved. And one still does not see a way out of this unless there’s going to be a political solution to the problem, which is really what is required.”
Ambassador Shinn has been calling for a political solution for the past year. Asked why one has not been achieved, he says, “Because I don’t think anyone has been very serious about trying to achieve a political solution on any side of the issue. In the past year, you would have to put most of the blame on the Transitional Federal Government for not making a significant enough effort. Because they have held most of the security cards so long as the Ethiopians have been there supporting them. So, it is really up to them to make the gesture to those who oppose them. And try to bring them into the government in order to create a government of national unity that would allow the opponents to rein in those who are fighting against the Transitional Federal Government. They have not made sufficient steps to do that. They still have an opportunity to do that and I think the naming of the new prime minister, Nur Adde, makes that a greater possibility. But he has to seize the initiative and really create a new government that will be acceptable to most of those individuals who now oppose the Transitional Federal Government.”
Shinn calls on the international community, including the Arab League, to do more to find a political solution, rather than relying on AU peacekeepers, who are very few in number.
Let the animals be freely playing in their ground.We have more job to do back home in Ethiopia.The world dont care about them why should we?????
mamush such hard view on somalis they are our brother and need our help. i will expect to read your intellect view next time around
Ethiopia is doing simply the AFRICAN UNION & INTERNATIONAL community job failed to do.There is nothing to gain for ethiopia in somalia except to bring peace and stability to somalia and in general the region.There are millions of somalians refugee that are living in ethiopia to now days after escaping chaos in thier own country since 1991.The word occupation does not apply to the founder country of african union ethiopia that’s working hard to bring long term peace in somalia for the benefit of the world.And i hope eprdf will continue to help the most hated country in the world somalia..
this guy he keep him self like solver of east Africa problem. shinn we know u before ten years on the war of ethio eri because of u r wrong information USA stand with eri i m so sorry u r no one stupid in case of u r experience in east Africa
Mamush, lets not do a lazy analisis. The Americans just did that in 1993 after they saw their soliers dragged in Mogudisho after what is known “The Black Hauk down.” event.
The result, the destruction of The Kenyan and Tanzanian American Embacies originated from Somalia. We didn’t volunteered to get in Somalia. We have been forced to.
Before they feed their people, The Extreame Islamist Group that control Mogudisho a year ago started talking about the greater Somali and began to disrup the development process of Ethiopian side Somali, that we call the Ogaden region. Even Bin Ladin himself called Jihad againist Ethiopia along side with these extreamists. There are more muslims in Ethiopia than in the whole Somalia so declaring Jihad in Ethiopia is not a religiouse cause but a political one. That had to be answered clearly and decisively.
Then there was The Eritrean factor. Esayas in his misguided adventure tried to creat a proxy war with Ethiopia using The Unfortunate Somalian situation. There were more than two thousand Eritrean soldiers even by UN estimate. That had to be dealt also in no ambigious way.
By ivading Somalia and by saving the internationally recognized Somalian government, we succeeded to protect Ethiopia.
Yes, America is using us fighting war on terror, but we are using America back using their resources to stop this Greater Somalia crap. The benefit is mutual unles we are lazy to see the whole situation. Enemys of Ethiopia are saying Ethiopia is being used be America, but I call it smart politics.
Now, the question is how can a lasting solution can be created in Somalia. David Sheen’s sugestion is one of them. The Ethiopian government is still exploring other options since there is no easy answer to this complex situation.
One thing is sure. We have got to do what we have got to do to protect our peace and stability in that part of the region. It is OK if you have a cold. However, when your cold start affecting me, it will cease being only your problem and I need to do something.
That is what our smartest leader who happen to be recently elected by Nazret visitors as ETHIOPIAN MAN OF THE YEAR, PM Meles Zenawi is doing. Running away when things get tough though simple is not always a good solution.
God Bless Ethiopia!
If you can’t swim, then you should never try to swim without knowing how deep the water is first. America made this mistake when it was forced out of Somalia with it tail tucked under it. They also repeated this same mistake when they invaded Iraq. Meles has not learded from America’s mistakes. He is now stuck and has no alternatives that he can spin to make it look like victory was achieved by invading Somalia. Today we are hearing American officals beging the Somali puppet “government” to talk to and to include the Somali opposition groups that are in Eritrea. Before, they were setting preconditions for the opposition inorder to join the government. And now they are licking their wounds and beging to talk to the opposition. Basically, the opposition is winning and Ethiopia has lost. Soon, the opposition will decide to join a Somali “unity” government if they already have not overthrow it. Ethiopia will withdraw, and try to take credit for the formation of a unity government which includeds elements of the same people it did not want to see in power. The Somali president, who has consolidated power, is already on his death bed. Once he is out of the picture, loyalty from governing officals will transfer to the Islamic courts. After all, everybody likes a winner. Just ask Adid who gave up his post with the government and joined the opposition in Eritrea. Yes, the very same Adid who bragged about Somalia and Ethiopia becoming one united country. Then a new government will be formed with the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) in control. Then the Somali government will kick out the African Union troops. Somalia will return back to point A. Peace wil be restored. The warlords will be out of goverment jobs. And finally, the Somalia will get to control their own destiny with out America or Ethiopia telling them what and how to do it. So people, what interests has Ethiopia protected by invading Somalia? The same people that America and Ethiopia did not want in power are alive and kicking in Eritrea. And now the America and Ethiopian government have come to their senses and are beging the opposition to join the Somali government because they were and still remain the Somali people’s choice. And you can not win a war when you go againt the interest of the majority. The only safe way out for Meles is to admit he was wrong and to say sorry to the peoples of Somalia and Ethiopia. If he does not, then he will be commiting suicide.
What happened to the 2,000 Eritrean soldier you and your government claimed were in Somalis? I am sure they did not vanish into thin air. If they were killed I know Mele would have shown dead Eritrean soldiers on tv and claimed a victory over Eritrea. Get your head out of your ass and stay intouch with reality. I have more to say about your untrue comment, but I have chosen to not watse my time today on someone who is brain dead. I am sure someone will take the opportunity I have given up to help you understand reality. Open you eyes and stop beliving the world is flat.
The comment I said was for Mahlet was for you. Sorry Mahlet, I was using my phone to type the comment for baymeno.
sorry my cauntry the problem u faced, if there were oil in somalia americans were there at the first but unfurtunatly noy
I agree we you.We were forced.Regardless how America used us,lets not forget about the declaration of Jihad loud and clear on our beloved country.Let us not forget of the dream of the cowards expansion of Somali even all the way to Addis.So what was done,simply the extremists asked for it.But now it is not our problem.We have a lot to do at home.Somali people need to come together and fix their issues instead of imagining extra land.If Ethiopia is a puppet of America,Somali is a puppet of Arabs.
Tplf cadres planted in the cyber-space specially in Nazret, please it is X-mass and take a break. Are U guys paid double for holidays? kkkkkk please take a break sometimes. The Tplf regime is in a big mess in Somalia and no amount of propoganda will cover that. Even your best friend David Shinn is advising you to leave Somalia as soon as possible. You better listen to him.
Hey,which Christian country are you defending from the Islamic courts?
Ethiopia is majority Muslim,2nd Christian.No more minority rules,no more religion over domination,no more kings monarchs domination and also,no more Tigray over domination the rest of Ethiopia as well as Somalia.They have get out from somalia and let Islamic courts rule that’s their business and its their country.They weren’t and never been threat to Ethiopia.Melez never help Somalia since Siyad Bare gone 1991.He,was numb.one agitator of the Somali unity,he was the supporter and creator of the warlords.The tigray troops used to cross the border since no defenses and kill,rape,loot and assassinate who ever they wants that most of us and the Somalis knew.So,its to early to predicts the whole region, but one think is clear,that our region (the HORN) became like meddle east one and thats because of Meleze and his failure policy of the region.
Mr.Melez get out Somalia,get out kill5 The Ogaden allow ppl to exercise their rights and allow the democracy for the entire region.stop manipulations of these cases the Eritrea,Islamics,ONLF,OLF CUD etc.The real problem of region(HORN) is you..mr Melez.Please leave the power other wise you will pay the price.big time like Sadam or Menguste U will hide for ever….
Please lets be realistic. This Tigrayn majority government will fade away the same as its predecessors did if it does not respict the will of the majority. I am talking about invading Somalia or opressing the Ethiopian people. Mr. Meles does not seem benefited from his predecessors failures. His predecessors failed because they went against the interest of the majority. That is exactly what is hapening in Somalia. He is losing the war because the will of the people cannot be defeated by any means. Why no one cannot be learned from Iraq or the Soviet Union. It is obvious always the majority winn. Mr. Meles and his his group are following the footstep of the AFrican leaders; losers!
Mr Shinn is trying to save Woyanne ass-ses as always. Last year he was for the destruption of ICU gains in Somalia and this year he is advising Woyanne cowards to flee Somalia[few hiding places in Mogadishu and Baidoa]. But we Somalis prefer them to stay so that we can hunt them down like rats as we are doing now. Woyanne cowars and the misled kids are getting a well needed lesson from the heroic Somali insurgents.
Who are you? A fanatic Muslim?
Yes, there is nothing to respect from individuals like you but lies and worst than that which is suicide, mass murder and crime against humanity., Nirobi, Dareslam, Bali, New York, DC, London, Madrid etc. what is this telling you? You are capable of killing innocent people in the name of religion. For these reason lying, blackmailing and all bad human abilities are your way of living.
First, Islam came to Ethiopia not by choice but by war. It also spreads not by choice but by buying the poor people faiths to become Muslims. According to the reliable sources some Arabic nations are campaigning in Ethiopia for the last 17 years to spread Islam in exchange of a direct or indirect payment for 1000 US.
Facts. 96% Tigres, 94% Amharas, 40% Oromos, 65% nations and nationalities, 70% gambelas are Christians. It is about 70% of the Ethiopian population.
99.9% Somalis, 95% Afar, 50% Oromos are the only highest Muslim population in Ethiopia.
So, the facts to the idea of Islam in Ethiopia is look like below.
22% Muslims and
8% are animates.
As I said, Islam came to Ethiopia by war not by choice.
22% Ethiopians are Muslims.
Islamic followers in Ethiopia are not the same as it is elsewhere. Knowing they didn’t chose but forced to become Muslims, they don’t care about it. I’m sure in the near future, most of them will become Christians and we want them to be that way. Those fanatics are in Ogaden and in balie and harar, which is Deep South east.
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