Ethiopia's military intervention in Somalia: a critical assessment 2006 - 2009
Fesseha, Shawel G
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This research is an assessment of Ethiopia's military intervention in Somalia, with the specific objectives to examine the effectiveness of Ethiopia's military intervention in Somalia and investigate whether military intervention can lead to stability in Somalia. Statement of the problem is about Ethiopia's intervention in Somalia in December 2006 which was as a result of Ethiopia's national security threat related to its protracted contlict with Eritrea that tempted the country to invade Somalia. The Islamic court, which controlled most of Somalia at the time declared jihad against Ethiopia, and the court had considerable support from Eritrea. Somalia became a front in the proxy war between the two countries- Eritrea supporting the Islamic Court Union and Ethiopia supporting the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia in Bidwoa. The region became destabilized as a result of the protracted conflict between the two countries. Peace and stability in the Horn depended on the resolution of the Ethiopian and Eritrean conflict and triumph of sustainable peace. Statement of the problem is to answer the question; Does the Ethiopian military intervention in Somalia a genuine quest for peace or a sign of military might to Eritrea? Or is it in fulfilment of the US war on terror? Methodology is through descriptive and explorative research designs; and data collection through questionnaires. Key findings; Ethiopia's military intervention has been regarded as the most daring and strategic decision any African government has made to fight terrorism crossing a border towards its neighbour. Its successful operation motivated other countries for military intervention through the African Union. The exemplary exhibition of the military strategic intervention, created an impression that it was possible for a military operation to take place in Somalia; the Ethiopian troops proved their military capability in defeating ICU with determination to ensure a free Somali society of militia as well as extremist groups. The transitional government had challenges, just like any new regime in a post conflict society; its viability was majorly as a direct contribution of Ethiopian military as a governing power on itself. Ethiopian and the African Union's military greatly weaked the Al-Shaabab. Conclusion; There is no doubt that the Ethiopian military achieved what no international community and African countries thought to be possible. Its daring response to the lawlessness in Somalia laid the foundation of the current elected Somali Government and AMISOM. Recommendations include; With the successul outcome of both Ethiopian military and the African Union forces, there is need for Ethiopian Government to capacity build the Somalia National Army and encourage the Somalia Federal Government to pursue an inclusive governance approach without discrimination based on groups or clan system. All countries in the region will need to commit to not supporting disruptive insurgencies such as the al-Shabaab or warlords. The immediate security concerns must be to form the Fedral units. This is the best approach to this very complex political problem.