“BREAKING: Hundreds of Ethiopian troops and vehicles have crossed the border of Somalia into the town of Dolow in Gedo. These troops will open bases in Dolow and Beledhawo to support the Gedo Regional Administration” (The Daily Jubba, 06.08.2022).
Yesterday it was reported that the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) entered and deployed itself in the Gedo region of the Jubaland State. There been no announcement or memorandums officially published from either party. There has been official communication from the Federal Member State (FMS) of Jubaland. Neither has Villa Somalia or any of the Federal Government of Somalia spoken out on it either. Lastly, it has been silent from the Office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia or the ENDF as well.
This is just troubling as the neighbour here is practically “invading” and occupying parts of border territories of Somalia without any concern. Especially, when we cannot know the mandate, mission or the goals of the operation. This is interfering and not respecting the territorial integrity. The Ethiopian government would have gone to war if the Sudanese Armed Forces went out of the contested areas around the border and did similar acts in the Tigray region. Therefore, this is questionable at best.
We know the Al-Shabab and the conflict with them has spiralled out lately. There been skirmishes on the border and the ENDF has defended it’s territories in the Ogaden (Somali) Region. That has been established and known about. As yet another conflict the ENDF has to deal with and use it’s capacity to take control over.
Some has stated and wondered why the new Somali President hasn’t visited Addis Ababa and such. He has been elsewhere in the Horn of Africa and visited allies. However, he never went to Ethiopia and visited Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali. There been talks and rumours speculating that there been a fallout after Abiy lost his ally Farmaajo. Therefore, the recent act seems possibly like a revenge or a retaliation. Also, as the Al-Shabaab suddenly attacked Ethiopia too. It is all coincidently happening as the new Somali President is being in-charge.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has to both look into the leadership in Jubaland State and the Gedo region. If they allowed this with or without prior consent from the regional leadership. Secondly, the Villa Somalia needs to diplomatically establish why Ethiopian forces did enter and such. This is a clear indication that Mogadishu and Addis Ababa has lot of trouble brewing between them.
Abiy has possibly started another proxy-war and does so possibly by being allowed by regional leadership to enter. That is showing a lack of coordination and clear-cut policies of the Villa Somalia. They are showing weakness instead of strength. The neighbour is taking advantage of fragile and porous borders. In such a manner, that the integrity and the sovereignty doesn’t matter to it.
The next few days will be interesting. Especially to see how the new administration in Mogadishu takes it and acts. Because, this is happening on their turf and on their territory. The ENDF is the outsider and certainly has a questionable task to explain why they are there…
This will be monitored and followed. Since the signs are worrying and the air-silence isn’t making things any better. Peace.