Ethiopia Behind Somalia`s New Day

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Somalia has always been a point of discussion at international and regional levels. Ethiopia, an immediate neighbor, has always been one of the primary actors of such discussion. It has been calling the international community to give a shot for the destabilized horn state.

The late PM Meles has pioneered the conferences of Rome and London, arguing the international community to resolve problems caused by terrorist groups in Somalia. Similarly, the new premier of Ethiopia Hilemariam Desalegn, on the Mini-Summit on Somalia held side by side to that of the UN Summit in New York this September stated that, “in the spirit that our late Prime Minister did, to do the best we can, along with our friends within IGAD and the AU, as well as, the UN and partners, to assist Somalia proceed with success along this promising trajectory.”

Hailemariam added that his country has always supported the neighbor state in its effort to stabilize its domestic conditions. He remarked that the peace development in the state of Somalia, that followed the first democratic election in the last two decades, has sparkled a bright future in the country`s political economic development. As it has been the case, Hailemariam said, Ethiopia continues to support Somalia in all the best possible forms. He reminded that the previous supports his country gave for Somalia in line with the package of IGAD and AU, has helped to alleviate the political problems the militancy resulted.

The Horn is one of the most penetrated regions due to its geographical significance. The penetration attracted several group from with in and out side the region to intervene in the domestic affairs of the country making Somalia one of the most fragile state in the world. The destabilization in Somalia has spill over effect on the region in general and on Ethiopia`s security in particular. Due to such security breach it faces, Ethiopia has responded to conditional problems in Somalia.

Every problem in Somalia makes Ethiopia its primary victim. That was why Ethiopia has been pioneer of the peace process in Somalia. State minister Birhanne said that “Ethiopia, as a chairperson of IGAD and immediate neighbor of Somalia, will continue its support for the peace and development of the country.”

Ethiopia has been working with the IGAD and AU for the regional peace and stability in harmony with stabilizing Somalia. Ethiopia understands that Somalia`s peace affects the peace of Africa and the world in general. Since the time of the late Premier Meles, Ethiopia has been trying to end the political chaos in Somalia and bring lasting peace for the people. Hailemariam, on the inaugural of the Somali president reminded that "Meles Zenawi, our late great leader, always worked very hard to stabilize Somalia. I wish he were with us today to witness the fruits of his labor - stabilization and democracy,"

History remembers, the post-Barre Somalia has served as a play ground for the terrorist groups that come into the failed state. Its loosely controlled boarder has made it easy for the external terrorist blocks to easily roam in and out of Somalia. Such a greater growth of extremism in Somalia has destabilized the peace of the region even to the detriment of causing problem on the global marine transport through the Red Sea.

Ever since the TFG of Somalia has been set up, Ethiopia has been giving all round support to the government of Somalia. Ethiopia responded to the terrorist attack that decapitated Somalia even before the international community could move a muscle. More over Ethiopia has been supporting any peace trial in there even to the detriment of providing military and logistic assistance for the weak TFG. Ethiopia has also sent its troop so as to curb the ever increasing militancy of the then UIC.

Ethiopia responded to Somalia problem in several ways. In line with the military incursions that aimed at weakening the militant groups of Somalia, Ethiopia has added effort on the peace process of the weak state. As a result of its concerted effort, finally the state of Somalia has set up the first democratically elected governmental institution marking the beginning of the new era.

The New Paradigm
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud won election as Somali president earlier this month, ending a long transition process made possible largely because African troops expelled al-Shabab militants from the capital, Mogadishu. The changing situation in Somalia brings new opportunity for Somalia and the region as a whole. The inauguration of the first democratically elected president since the collapse of the state of Somalia on September 17, 2012 remarked that the new day has come to Somalia.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on the inaugural ceremony of the new Somali president, that the new Somali government needs a lot of help from the international community, but help that does not infringe on Somali ownership of its own recovery.

Hailemariam stated that, "We have no doubt that the new leadership will continue to deepen national reconciliation and focus on building and strengthening the necessary governance institutions to ensure the provision of basic services and promote economic recovery.  There is real momentum for durable peace in Somalia, and the chances for making the process irreversible have never been as excellent as they currently are,"

Ethiopia has helped the state of Somalia in its long struggle against terrorist activity that long decapitated the fragile state for two decades. Following the current development in Somalia peace, Getachew Reda, Director General of Public Diplomacy and Communications of the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said “The current political dispensation in Somalia, which makes it difficult for terrorists to operate as freely as they used to, means the security concerns we have will be resolved.”

Getachew underlines that the new situation will open new opportunities for other countries to look into Somalia in terms of trade mainly because the terrorist activity is on its death bed.  “Al-Shabaab is now a spent force,” Getachew said.  “But Ethiopia will continue its support as long as it is necessary and there is a need for it from the Somalis themselves,” he said.

The international community has expressed its gratitude for Somalia following the first democratic election since its collapse two decades ago.

After the longest struggle Ethiopia, IGAD and the AU waged Somalia finally get a break from the two decades old anarchy. More significantly, following the democratic election, the international community is giving the desirable response to the re incarnated state of Somalia. The changing situation in Somalia is hoped to bring new opportunity for both the region and the state itself.

Getachew of the MoFA reminded that Ethiopia, under the leadership of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, played a significant role in stabilizing Somalia by bringing together Somali political actors and helping them resolve their differences. He remarked that, “But the largest chunk of contributions has come from the fact that Somalis themselves have now rallied behind peace and stability in their own country,”

Getachew affirms that the new Prime Minister will pursue the same policies Ethiopia has been pursuing on Somalia for the last two decades. “There is no need to change these policies because it is these policies that are achieving results,” said the director genera.

According to the new PM of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia continues to support Somalia there by supporting the sub-regional peace and stability. The international community must work hard to support the Somali peace in every possible means.

More over, as sustainability of the peace in Somalia rests upon the Somali people themselves, the international community must support the people to strongly institutionalize their government. The joint coordination of the regional and international community along with Ethiopia`s effort is what sustain the new of Somalia.