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External actors in the Somali Conflict since 2004 The regional dimension of a civil war Hettyey András, Andrássy University AFRICA: 1960–2010–2060 Fifty.

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Presentation on theme: "External actors in the Somali Conflict since 2004 The regional dimension of a civil war Hettyey András, Andrássy University AFRICA: 1960–2010–2060 Fifty."— Presentation transcript:

1 External actors in the Somali Conflict since 2004 The regional dimension of a civil war Hettyey András, Andrássy University AFRICA: 1960–2010–2060 Fifty Years of Independence – Fifty Years of Interdependence?

2 Introduction 1 - Questions 1. What is the role of external actors in the civil war in Somalia? 2. What are their interests and goals? 3. Do the activities of external actors prolong or help to solve the conflict?

3 Introduction 2 - Structure 1. What is Somalia? Where do Somalis live? 2. Brief history of the civil war in Somalia since The role, interests and activities of external actors in Somalia (Ethiopia, Eritrea, United States) 4. Conclusion

4 What is Somalia?

5 History of the civil war since 2004 I. 1991: the military dictatorship of Gen. Siad Barre collapses under the pressure of 3 rebel groups, representing the 3 major clans – civil war ensues : unsuccesful attempt by the UN to stabilize the country 1995: UN (and the attention of the international community) leaves : civil war ebbs and flows, with several unsuccessful attempts from outside (Egypt, Ethiopia) to broker peace

6 History of the civil war II. 2004: a UN- (and Ethiopia-) mediated peace conference in Nairobi brings a Transitional Federal Parliament and a Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to life – the TFG remains ineffective and without power in Somalia : the Islamic Courts Union (UIC) controls Mogadishu and most of Somalia - UIC increasingly perceived by Ethiopia as a threat => December 2006: Ethiopia overruns the country - the leadership of the UIC flees the country to Eritrea – TFG reinstated : Ethiopian occupation amidst permanent attacks from anti-Ethiopian forces including al-Shabaab

7 History of the civil war III. January 2009: Ethiopians leave - UN-brokered peace conference in Djibouti – the launch of „TFG 2.0”, President: Sharif Ahmed (former UIC leader, moderate Islamist) May 2009: unsuccessful attack of al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam rebels against the TFG/AMISOM-troops – permanent attacks ever since May 2010: TFG holds a few blocks in Mogadishu, the allied forces ASWJ control bits of the north, Islamists control most of the south and Mogadishu

8 The role and interests of external actors I. - Ethiopia 1.Ethiopia „The arch-enemy of Somalia (and Eritrea) ever since” What it wants: 1. A stable and pro-Ethiopian government in Somalia. 2. Preventing the spill-over of dangerous Islamist ideas to Ethiopia. 3. Keep its sizeable Somali minority in the Ogaden area in check. Track record: Meddling in the peace process (2004) Supplying arms, ammunition, money and training to the TFG ( ) Diplomatic support for the TFG ( ) Trying to keep Eritrea at bay ( )

9 The role and interests of external actors I. - Ethiopia Occupying parts of Somalia ( ) Occupying the whole of Somalia ( ) Training the ASWJ ( ) Brokering an agreement between ASWJ and the TFG (March 2010) Occupying bits of Somalia, occasional clashes with al-Shabaab ( ) Activity: Very strong Success: Low International partners: USA: partner in the war on terror Kenya: traditional ally against Somali irredentism

10 The role and interests of external actors II. - Eritrea Eritrea „The spoiler playing with fire” What it wants: 1. Harm Ethiopia, no matter what it takes. Track record: Supplying arms, ammunition, money and training to al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam ( ) Diplomatic pressure on the TFG ( ) Supplying arms, ammunition and training to Somali rebel gropus operating in Ethiopia ( ) Accomodating and re-organising the leadership of the UIC ( )

11 The role and interests of external actors II. - Eritrea Activity: Strong Success: Moderate International partners: (presumably) Iran Arab states and persons in the Gulf region (Qatar, Saudi-Arabia) Wahhabi and Salafist charity groups from the Gulf Region

12 The role and interests of external actors III. - USA „Almost exclusive focus on the war on terror” What it wants: 1. Make sure that Somalia does not become a safe haven for terrorists. 2.. Stable government in Somalia, capacity- and nation-building. 3.. Stemming the piracy. Track record: Diplomatic support for the TFG ( ) Intelligence and planning support for the invading Ethiopian troops ( ) Hit-and-run assassinations against suspected terrorists in Somalia ( ) Supplying arms, ammunition, money and training to the TFG ( ) Supporting the AMISOM-mission ( ) Patrolling the Indian Ocean

13 The role and interests of external actors III. - USA Activity: Low-key Success: Moderate International partners: Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, AU, EU, UN

14 Conclusion Many external actors interested in the Somali conflict. External actors mostly serving their own interests (anti-terrorism, proxy war etc.). Little regard for the concerns of Somalis. Activities of external actors contribute to the prolonging of the civil war - however, their often destructive/counterproductive role is by no means the root cause of the conflict!!! Possible solutions: Furthering the peace process between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Dispatching a sizeable AU peacekeeping mission to Somalia.

15 Thank you very much for your attention!


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