While its people will never forget what Ethiopia has done for them and there will never be a country that could fit its shoes
By; Mahmud A Samatar
Somalilandsun – The Nile River is Egypt’s lifeline it originates from the Ethiopian Highlands year round rains, Egypt have always objected and questioned the Ethiopian usage of its Nile waters . Since Somalia became a member of the Arab League in early 70s Egypt played the Arab League card against Ethiopia and supported Somalia in 1977 Ethio/Somalia war by arming Siad Barre’s army to the teeth combat Ethiopian army. The only reason Somalia, non Arab country, was allowed to became a member of the Arab League was for political and strategic purpose against Ethiopia.
Since Ethiopia began the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam Egypt has been wary of how the Grand Renaissance Dam completion will affect the flow of the Nile waters into Egypt. Even thought Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have met several occasions regarding the usage of Ethiopia its own Nile water and its affect on Egypt and agreements have been reached among the concerned parties, Egypt is still untrustworthy and has been trying to revive the Arab League Card and have sent high level military official to Somalia in April, 2016last who visited military bases of Somalia and went to Hargiesa to meet with Somaliland officials, all in all to send indirect message to Ethiopian Government, that she could play again the Arab League card.
But the dilemma Egypt facing is Somalia is not the Somalia Egypt knew in the 70s, Somalia is in chaos and its weak government is protected by AMISOM, multi troops from African countries, including Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi.
Somalia doesn’t have stable army and whenever an effort is made to integrate clan militia to form an army unit they turn their guns against each other based on clan mistrust and hatred , since Somalia’s rival clans have never been reconciled and on top of that clan federalism has been adopted by Somalia where every clan has it’s own armed clan militia and clan member states like Puntland, Jubba-land and Southwest have more power and say than the Somalia Federal government and their clan militia can’t see each other eye to eye, a good example of what is going on now In Galkayo, Mudug region of Somalia, clan militia war between Gal-mudug and Puntland.
Since the fall of late Siad Barre and Mangistu Haile Mariam military Regimes of Somalia and Ethiopia in early 90s. EPRDF, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front led by late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Current PM Desalegn Hailemariam have been trying to stabilize Somalia by either holding reconciliations among former warlords or supporting prior transitional governments where the Arab League turned a blind eye on the plight of the people of Somalia, and just woke up now to challenge the Turkey takeover of Somalia for financial and trade purpose.
On the other hand Somaliland which declared independence and withdrawal from the union with Somalia on May 18, 1991, didn’t have a good relation with Egypt since the rebellious movement of SNM against Siad Barre regime of Somalia in early 80s where Egypt was its big military supporter, where hundreds of Somalilanders and SNM supporters were extradited from Egypt to be executed by Siad Barre security.
Since Somaliland withdrew from the union in May 1991, Egypt, the Head Quarter of the Arab League did all she could to destroy and dismantle Somaliland by creating and spearheaded the formation of Somalia Arata Government/Faction in Djibouti 2002 and made a political deal with Arta Somalia Government president Salad Qasim and Djibouti president Omar Gelle, Somaliland was spared from Arta faction and its allies by its resilient former president Dahir Rayale Kahin his brilliant foreign police and with the support of Ethiopian Government, EPRDF.
On April 17,2016 An Egyptian delegation led by the ambassador to Somalia arrives in Somaliland and held talks with President Siilaanyo and members of his cabinet.The arrival of the Egyptian delegation consisting number of ambassadors, including the ambassadors to Ethiopia and Kenya and Amb Walid Ismail to Somalia is reported that they came to Somaliland to table a proposal the Egyptian government pushing Somaliland to re-join Somalia’s new system of federal.
Source closed to Somaliland’s Presidential says the Egyptian working hard to keep United Somalia by pressuring Somaliland to reverse its quest for recognition. Other source also say Egypt is trying to block Somaliland from having closed ties with Ethiopia and the Cairo administration is campaigning for an ally in the Horn of Africa.
The Egyptian delegation first visited Muqadisho, Somalia’s capital and held talks with its leader, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. Reports about the Egyptian visit to Somali Villa say the Somalia’s president forwarded his request to push Somaliland back to the talks with Somalia and the Egyptian promised to fulfil their dream of united Somalia.
According to credible source about few months ago the health minster of Somaliland, Hagla Tosiye , who hails from Sool region of Somaliland was secretly invited by Egypt in the name of cooperation between the two countries Health ministries, and was presented to support the clan militia, Khatumo state led by Ali Galydh against Somaliland, even thought it’s unknown whether he accepted the offer and financial gain, Somaliland government doesn’t know still the outcome of the agreement to take proper action. However Egypt made a deal and financial aid to Khatumo clan militia to wage war against Somaliland with the alliance of ONLF, a rebel clan militia against Ethiopia supported by Egypt, in the name of clan affiliation. khatumo clan militia with the help of Egypt just declared a war against Somaliland few days ago.
Again on August 30, 2016 Somaliland foreign minster, Sa’ad Shire who has no clue of Somaliland foreign policy, it’s enemy/friend was invited to Egypt , to show Ethiopia that Egypt still could play the Arab League card even thought Somaliland is not an Arab league member. However the Somaliland Foreign minster, Sa’ad Shire made it clear to Egypt officials that Somaliland will never allow or support any act that could harm or destabilize Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa.
Today Egypt and the Ethiopian enemies like Eretria are in cahoots and support militarily the ethnic and hatred driven uprising in Oromia state and Amhara states of Ethiopia to dismantle and destroy Ethiopia, so she could call the shots of Nile River.
Ethiopia and Somaliland have had a great relation and cooperation economically, in security, and socially, today Ethiopia is a gateway for Somaliland to the international community be it the AU, UN and EU, where Somaliland officials meet them in Addis Ababa.
In mid 80s when SNM rebellious began against Siad Barre and his military were committing atrocities and genocide against the Somaliland people, most of the Somaliland civilians sought refuge in Eastern Ethiopia and were welcomed and accepted as war refugees, where on the other hand most of Arab League members like Egypt were sending Somalilanders back to Siad Barre custody to be killed.
The Somaliland people will never forget what Ethiopia has done for them and there will never be a country that could fit its shoes. It’s unknown how Somalia would help Egypt against Ethiopia and the Arab League Card would work, when Ethiopia is a member of Amisom to combat Al-shabab terrorist to stabilize Somalia. Egypt needs to work with Ethiopia honestly instead of taking advantage the tough times Ethiopia currently facing, ethnic based hatred uprising.
Mohamud A Samatar