Arab Today, arab today troubled history between ethiopia and somalia haunts africa
Last Updated : GMT 15:22:46
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Imam Ahmad Gragn’s ethnicity is disputed by historians

Troubled history between Ethiopia and Somalia haunts Africa

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Troubled history between Ethiopia and Somalia haunts Africa

Five hundred years ago, an Imam led a daring invasion of Christian Ethiopia
Nairobi - Arabstoday

Five hundred years ago, an Imam led a daring invasion of Christian Ethiopia Five hundred years ago, an Imam who ruled much of what is now Somalia, led a daring invasion of Christian Ethiopia, looting monasteries, burning down churches and slaying all who resisted .
Centuries on, memories of Imam Ahmad Gragn still haunt both countries, and echoes of that long and bloody history still ripple across the Horn of Africa region which considers Somalia the greatest threat to its stability.
Back then, the Ethiopians were beleaguered as the invaders occupied some two-thirds of the country. Help eventually came in the form of 400 Portuguese musketeers, who sailed into Massawa port and embarked on a six-day march to the front.
Gragn had his backers too. Reinforcements from Arabia soon rolled in alongside a gift from the Ottoman Empire: 900 of its famously hardened musket experts. The war lasted over a decade.
Fast forward to the present day, and with Ethiopian troops deploying over the border again last month to fight Islamist rebels linked to al-Qaeda, the latest chapter of a book with few uplifting passages was written.
Though present-day incursions and clashes are driven by strategic motivations and regional politicking against the backdrop of the global war on terror, those centuries-old grudges, raids and musket-battles still shape events.
“In Ethiopia, the damage which Gragn did has never been forgotten,” Ethiopia expert, Paul Henze, wrote in a book on the country’s history, Layers of Time.
“Every Christian highlander still hears tales of Gragn in his childhood. I have often had villagers in northern Ethiopia point out sites of towns, forts, churches and monasteries destroyed by Gragn as if these catastrophes had occurred only yesterday.”
Though Gragn’s ethnicity is disputed by historians, Ethiopians know his army was overwhelmingly manned by ethnic Somalis, and that stings.
Somalis, too, are haunted by past Ethiopian invasions.
Ethiopia and Somalia still hand-pick powerful allies keen to win clout in the Horn of Africa.
Its location on the Gulf of Aden and its potential as a base for militant Islam make it an ideal arena for proxy wars, influence-peddling and diplomatic skullduggery.
The two countries - Ethiopia then supported by the Soviet Union and Cuba and Somalia supported by the United States - fought one of their many wars over Ethiopia’s mainly ethnic-Somali Ogaden region in 1977-1978.
Ethiopia’s victory was helped by some crack Cuban troops, a modern day echo of the foreigners who helped in the sixteenth century. Since then, Western and Eastern powers have switched allegiances, depending on the politics of those in power.
These days, Ethiopia, seen as a critical bulwark against the rise of Islamist militancy in the strategic region next to the world’s busiest shipping lanes, is Washington’s main ally.
“An unstable Horn of Africa could have a destabilizing effect on the world,” a Western diplomat in the region told Reuters. “The U.S., Britain, China - and increasingly Turkey -are all trying to get a foothold here for both security reasons and economic reasons. Ethiopia makes the best ally right now.”
But despite the leadership changes, and the temporary alliances in a region that is no stranger to pragmatic politics, that old animosity is playing out again.
At the center of the latest episode between the two nations is the Islamist rebel group, al-Shabaab, which has declared holy war on the still mostly-Christian Ethiopia, and threatened to launch suicide attacks in its capital, Addis Ababa.
Neighboring Kenya sent troops across the border in October, unsettled by a spate of security attacks it blamed on the militants, with the aim of dismantling the rebels’ networks.
Ethiopia watched closely, analysts say, unsure of whether the Kenyan intervention would work. Finally, a month ago, with the Kenyans stalled, its troops moved into Somalia to arm and train the pro-government militia Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca (ASWJ).
Such is the delicacy that Ethiopia has not admitted publicly to its latest incursion despite scores of testimony from local witnesses, elders and reporters.
“The knowledge of history as well as the unwillingness to hand al-Shabaab the propaganda coup, just when the terrorist group is weakened, probably has a great deal to do with Ethiopia’s reluctance to do more than build up the capacity of local Somali allies like ASWJ and to try to politically unite them in a common effort,” J. Peter Pham, Africa director with the Atlantic Council, told Reuters.
Until now, Ethiopia had seemed reluctant to get involved in Somalia again after a 2006-2009 incursion to overthrow another Islamist group that had taken over Mogadishu sparked such ire among some Somalis that al-Shabaab rose from its ashes.
This time, the Ethiopians say, their hand was forced.
“Somebody needed to go in and help. Somalia is the world’s biggest security problem and that threatens everybody,” an Ethiopian official told Reuters.
“We’re aware that, for some Somalis, we are not the best choice and that is why we are being careful. But, yet again, who else?”

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today troubled history between ethiopia and somalia haunts africa Arab Today, arab today troubled history between ethiopia and somalia haunts africa

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Saudis await visitors but will they come?

GMT 11:54 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Saudis await visitors but will they come?
Arab Today, arab today Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"
Arab Today, arab today Blind sheikh buried in Egypt

GMT 06:32 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Blind sheikh buried in Egypt
Arab Today, arab today Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success

GMT 15:32 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success
View News in Arabic - Culture: أخبار ثقافة
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today To hold social dialogue over secondary school

GMT 07:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

To hold social dialogue over secondary school
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Salma Rashid happy for 'A Whisper of Love'

GMT 05:19 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Salma Rashid happy for 'A Whisper of Love'
Arab Today, arab today Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 06:41 2017 Monday ,20 February

Janat pleased for issuing 'Good Morning'

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 14:29 2017 Monday ,20 February

Prepares to present her new collection

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 23:29 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Home built on sand castles-style costs $8m

GMT 07:51 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Mom's immune system accepts babies

GMT 17:46 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Tourist guide reveals methods of tourist attractions

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 19:10 2017 Friday ,17 February

Hats, scarves add beauty to women
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday