Somalilandsun – The Ethiopian and Somaliland people are among the Cushites that inhabit in the Horn of Africa . Both countries share boundary and similar culture . Thousands of Somalilnders live and have business in Ethiopia while more number of Ethiopians work in Somaliland mainly in the fields of agriculture and domestic services.
The people of Somaliland have special regard for Ethiopia for the support that the Ethiopians gave to the people of Somaliland during the Siyad Bare dictatorship in Somalia .
In the early 80s till 1991 the Ethiopian government supported the SNM struggle against the Siyad Barre regime by allowing the SNM to wage guerilla war against the dictatorship from Ethiopia soil .
The struggle caused an exodus of refugees from Somaliland to Ethiopia at its peak in 1988. Dul’ad camp immediately became the largest refugee camp in East Africa in the late 80s and 90 s and almost all of those refugees were the people of Somaliland fleeing the genocide of the government of the late socialist dictator, Siyad Barre .
In 1988 the airplanes that flew from Hargeisa airport were bombing the masses of Somalilanders fleeing Hargeisa . Among the main target areas was Geed Deeble where people had to congregate and then start their long trek to Ethiopia through the Maqaahida Inanta and all the way to Dul’ad refugee camp.
Egypt has been threatening the upper stream Nile countries since the signing of the 1929 Nile water treaty which gave it more than 90 percent of the Nile waters mainly because the British wanted to protect the water supply for its cotton plantations in Sudan and Egypt .
Now that the Ethiopia has come off the feudal system of the Menelik family and suppressive socialist government that followed in 1974 , the people and the leadership of Ethiopia have decided to stand up for their rights to utilise the Blue Nile waters. The construction of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has provoked the Egyptians who again started the rhetoric of war against Ethiopia.
The people of Somaliland will pay back the favour to the Ethiopians by standing with them on any Egyptian aggression . This could include the free follow of weapons to Ethiopia through Berbera port or the use of Berbers airport ( which is the largest in Africa ) by the Ethiopian war-planes. Somaliland could also supply plenty of meat to Ethiopia keeping in mind that Somaliland has tens of millions of livestock with millions exported to the Gulf States.
Both Ethiopia and Egypt may not start war over the Nile waters but if it happens , then the people of Somaliland will side with the Ethiopians.
The writer Mo Ali is the editor of Medeshivalley