by Anwar Abdifatah Bashir
Today his Excellence Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, the Somalia president is going to Eritrea for three day official visit as declared Eritrea ministry of information in his twitter account.
If we look back the history, Eritrea tended to host the dissidents who are against the Somali government. Additionally, Eritrea was assisting the Islamic court of union by giving weapons and military advice in order to dilute and dwindles the authority of the transitional federal government which was leading by former president of Somalia his Excellency Abdullahi Yusuf. Moreover, the aim of the Eritrea government towards supporting the oppositions was to forge in Somalia an authority which against the Ethiopian government.
In 2006 the Islamic court of union predominated the country especially the south-central regions of Somalia including the capital city of Mogadishu. In the mean time, Eritrea was increasing its support by the new emerging power of the ICU.
In 2007, the transitional federal government which was backing by the Ethiopian government defeated the ICU and captured the capital city of Mogadishu. Mean while, the intergovernmental authority for development (IGAD) supported the intervention of Ethiopian government in Somalia which led to withdrew Eritrea to the IGAD.
The role of Ethiopian government to the region
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Obviously, Ethiopia is regional state with the highest population in east Africa approximately 100 million. When it comes to the military power, Ethiopia is outstanding and the leading one. Landlocked Ethiopia has been led since April by 41-year-old former intelligence officer Abiy, who has moved swiftly to assert his nation’s interests on the international stage. Abiy is making unprecedented reform within Ethiopia and he mainly targeted Tigre officers whom were leading the country for the past nearly three decades. And at the same time, he is pressuring the Somali Kilal (State), because he believes that, the president of the Somali kilal was ally with the former regime of Ethiopia. And this led to erupt a new conflict between Oromo and Somali-Ethiopian.
On the other hand, Ethiopian leader visits in Somalia in June 16 which surprised many people, because if we traced back the history, there is a long-standing hostility among the people of the two nations. The other amazing is, the two leaders agreed upon that they are jointly investing in four seaports to attract foreign investment to their two countries. A part from that bilateral agreement, the statement did not mention clearly which ports would develop, and this led a much doubt from the public mood and at the same time, many people expressed that this is an intrusive step.
Apart from that, when the Somalia government declared its neutral role towards the gulf crisis, then the UAE government tried to pressure the Somalia government to support the Saudi-Arabia led coalition, but Somalia persisted its neutral role. Due to that, Somalia and UAE had begun a telltale suspicious which led eventually to cut Somalia its diplomatic tie to the UAE.
On the other hand, earlier this month, UAE mediated the long time rivals Ethiopia and Eritrea and they signed an agreement in order to divorce two decades of hostility and conflict between the two states since wrenched the war in 1998.
So, if we immerse deeply to this topic, UAE is have a good relationship with the western government , in the mean time, china is a new emerging power which is currently uplifting their role in Africa, because China has a great business in Africa particularly east Africa including Ethiopia and Djibouti. So it seems that, there are still two strong powers namely USA and CHINA who are struggling economically these strategic zones.
Emirates are double tasking to take the apprehend
The diplomatic relationship between Somalia and emirates is not so far so good, so emirates is supporting Ethiopia and Eritrea in order to have an influence in Somalia, because some people believe that , the reason behind the visit of Ethiopian prime minister in Somalia was to represent UAE. In this regard, UAE is trying its level best to utilize and profit one way or other the ports of Somalia. Because the Somalia government earlier rejected to allow UAE to invest Berbera port
Potential Outcomes of Somali president’s visit to Eritrea
√ If Somalia and Eritrea presidents agreed upon a lucrative and fruitful agreement, then it terminates hosting Eritrea the oppositions of the Somalia government.
√ It undermines and weaken the proxy of UAE to Somalia through Ethiopia and Eritrea
√ Somalia can improve its relationships with the neighbours and that promotes and enhances its security, development and freedom of movement. Because currently everything that Ethiopia imports or exports via the sea pass through Djibouti, so if Ethiopia invests and uses our ports then it increases our economical power.
Anwar Abdifatah Bashir (Freelance Journalist and Independent Researcher)