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EDITORIAL

Russia Arming Houthis: A New Threat to Somaliland’s Security and Global Internet

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How Moscow’s Support for Yemen’s Rebels and Attacks on Submarine Cables Could Destabilize the Red Sea and Somaliland

In a provocative and highly controversial move, Russia’s potential provision of weapons to the Houthi rebels in Yemen threatens to escalate tensions in the already volatile Red Sea region. This development, coupled with the looming threat to submarine internet cables critical to global communications, could have far-reaching consequences for the Gulf of Aden, Somaliland, and the broader international community.

Russian state media figure Vladimir Solovyov recently suggested that Moscow should arm the Houthis to retaliate against Western support for Ukraine. This statement comes amid ongoing clashes between Iran-aligned Houthi rebels and Western forces in the Red Sea. The Houthis have been targeting ships, including a recent missile attack on the British-registered Rubymar vessel, escalating the conflict in a crucial maritime corridor.

If Russia follows through on Solovyov’s suggestion, it could transform the balance of power in the Red Sea. The Houthis, already emboldened by Iranian support, would gain access to more sophisticated weaponry, potentially including semi-submersible unmanned boats and advanced firearms. This could significantly increase the threat to international shipping and military assets in the region, leading to a broader conflict involving the Gulf states and their allies.

Adding another layer of complexity is the potential disruption of submarine cables, which are the backbone of global internet connectivity. These cables, spanning over 1.4 million kilometers of ocean floor, carry a significant portion of the world’s internet traffic. The Red Sea alone hosts around 16 cable systems that connect Europe to Asia, transporting data for up to 2.3 billion people.

The Houthi rebels have been accused of planning attacks on these crucial communication links. An incident in February 2024 saw the interruption of four internet cables in the Red Sea, impacting 25% of internet traffic between Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. While the Houthis denied involvement, suspicions remain high, given their history of targeting infrastructure in the region.

The deliberate targeting of submarine cables by the Houthis, potentially with Russian backing, could disrupt global communications, affecting everything from financial transactions to military operations. Such an attack would be a clear act of cyber warfare, with profound implications for international security and economic stability.

For Somaliland, the geopolitical stakes are particularly high. The unrecognized state has been seeking greater international legitimacy and support, notably offering the strategic port of Berbera as a military base to the United States. However, U.S. policy has been ambivalent, failing to capitalize on this opportunity while opposing Somaliland’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ethiopia.

As Russia and China expand their influence in the region, Somaliland’s strategic importance grows. If the U.S. continues to neglect Somaliland, it risks losing a critical ally in the Red Sea to its rivals. Recognizing Somaliland and strengthening military and economic ties could counterbalance the influence of Russia and China, ensuring that the Red Sea remains a stable and secure maritime corridor.

The Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia and the UAE, also have a vested interest in the stability of the Red Sea. The disruption of submarine cables and the arming of the Houthis could threaten their economic and security interests, given their reliance on secure maritime routes for oil exports and other trade. Increased Houthi capabilities could lead to more frequent and severe attacks on shipping, potentially closing critical chokepoints like the Bab al-Mandab Strait.

The current U.S. administration faces a critical decision point. The neglect of Somaliland and the failure to adequately address the threats posed by Russian and Iranian activities in the Red Sea could have dire consequences. It is imperative for the U.S. and its allies to reassess their strategies in the region, taking decisive steps to support Somaliland’s quest for recognition and stability.

Strengthening military and intelligence cooperation with Somaliland could serve as a deterrent to Russian and Iranian ambitions. Additionally, enhancing the protection of submarine cables through international collaboration and advanced surveillance technologies is crucial to safeguarding global internet infrastructure.

The convergence of Russian support for the Houthis and the threat to submarine cables represents a significant and growing challenge for the international community. The potential for increased conflict in the Red Sea, coupled with the risk of major disruptions to global communications, demands urgent and coordinated action from Western governments.

Ignoring these threats could lead to a destabilized region, with far-reaching impacts on global security and economic stability. It is time for the West to recognize the strategic importance of Somaliland and the need for robust responses to the emerging threats in the Red Sea. Only through proactive and concerted efforts can the balance of power be maintained and the interests of the international community safeguarded.

EDITORIAL

Turkey’s Strategic Push into Africa: Five Key Areas of Influence

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Uncover Turkey’s five main areas of interest in Africa, from defense agreements and energy exploration to construction projects and cultural diplomacy, under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s leadership. 

Turkey, under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been strategically expanding its influence in Africa, aiming to establish itself as a major player on the continent. Over the past two decades, Ankara has significantly increased its diplomatic presence, quadrupling its number of embassies across Africa. This week, Turkey announced plans to search for oil and gas off Somalia, underscoring its growing economic ambitions. Here are five key areas where Turkey is making its mark in Africa:

As many African nations distance themselves from their former colonial powers, Turkey has been quick to present itself as a viable alternative. Erdogan’s administration emphasizes the “sincerity” of its engagement compared to European countries, which are often viewed through the lens of their colonial past. According to Selin Gucum, an expert on Turkish interests in Africa, Erdogan’s government does not impose conditions related to governance or human rights, a stark contrast to Western nations. This pragmatic approach has allowed Turkey to forge partnerships with a variety of African states, regardless of their political or human rights records.

Turkey’s defense agreements span across the African continent, involving countries like Somalia, Libya, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Ghana. These agreements have opened lucrative contracts for Turkish defense manufacturers, particularly in the drone sector. Turkish drones, known for their reliability and affordability, have been deployed in several African countries, including Chad, Togo, and the Sahel region’s junta-led states of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. These drones are primarily used in anti-terrorism operations, enhancing Turkey’s reputation as a key security partner.

Turkey is also deeply invested in Africa’s energy sector. Later this year, Ankara plans to commence oil and gas exploration off the coast of Somalia, mirroring its activities in Libyan waters. Additionally, Turkey has shown interest in Niger’s uranium reserves, essential for its upcoming Russian-built Akkuyu nuclear power plant, despite official denials. Erdogan has strengthened ties with Niger’s new rulers following their 2023 coup, highlighting Turkey’s strategic interest in the region’s resources. This week, Niger hosted Turkey’s intelligence chief and ministers of foreign affairs, energy, and defense.

Turkey has established itself as a reliable partner in construction and infrastructure development across Africa. Turkish firms are known for completing large-scale projects like hospitals, airports, and mosques on time and within budget. This reliability has driven demand, with Turkish contractors participating in $85.5 billion worth of projects in 2023 alone. Turkish Airlines further cements Ankara’s presence by servicing 62 destinations across Africa, having been the first airline to resume flights to Mogadishu after rebuilding its airport with Turkish assistance.

Turkey wields significant soft power in Africa through religious, educational, and media initiatives. The Turkish Maarif Foundation runs 140 schools across the continent, educating 17,000 students, while 60,000 Africans study in Turkey. The Directorate of Religious Affairs actively supports humanitarian efforts, mosque construction, and religious education. Turkish television also extends its cultural reach. NRT, Turkey’s first TV channel dedicated to Africa, broadcasts in 49 countries, promoting Turkish language and culture. TRT, Turkey’s public broadcaster, airs programs in French, English, Swahili, and Hausa, and is developing journalist training programs.

Turkey’s multifaceted approach to Africa, combining pragmatic diplomacy with economic and cultural engagement, is reshaping its role on the continent. As Ankara continues to pursue its interests, it positions itself as a significant player, offering an alternative to Western influence and strengthening its strategic foothold in Africa.

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EDITORIAL

Exposing Racism and White Supremacy in Early Olympic History

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Discover the harrowing story of Jan Mashiani and Len Tau, the first Africans to compete in the 1904 Olympics, and the racism and white supremacy that tainted their participation. 

The question of who the first Africans to compete in the modern Olympic Games were unravels a shocking tale of the 1904 marathon and lays bare the racism and white supremacy that permeated the early days of the Olympics. The first modern Olympics took place in 1896 in Greece, a time when European colonialism was at its peak, and no African athletes participated. It wasn’t until the late 1940s, as African nations gained independence, that African athletes began joining the Olympic movement in significant numbers.

However, a lesser-known story from the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, USA, features two black South African runners, Jan Mashiani and Len Taunyane (Tau), who competed in the marathon. They appeared alongside a white South African runner, B.W. Harris. A photo of Mashiani and Tau is housed at the Missouri Historical Society museum, although their names were incorrectly switched in the caption for decades. Importantly, Mashiani and Tau did not officially represent South Africa since it was a British colony at the time, two years after the South African War.

During this war, both sides employed black South Africans in various roles, including message runners, which is how Mashiani and Tau became part of the narrative. They also participated in the St. Louis World’s Fair, which was tied to the Olympics and featured racist exhibitions, including so-called “savages” competing in physical displays.

South African sport historian Floris van der Merwe documented the story of Mashiani and Tau. As a sport historian, the reconstruction of such histories is crucial. Colonialism erased many records of African sporting achievements, and African Olympic history remains under-researched compared to US and European histories. Reclaiming these stories is an act of honoring black life and acknowledging the prejudices they endured.

Back in 1904

The 1904 Olympic Games were starkly different from today’s spectacle. One researcher described the early games as a jumble of bizarre events, including swimming obstacle races, tug of war, hot air balloon contests, polo cycling, and American croquet. The games were steeped in racism and reflected the eugenics culture of the era. The St. Louis Olympics coincided with the World’s Fair, which held competitions for indigenous people from various continents under the title Anthropology Days.

The Olympic marathon was scheduled for August 30, but the fair’s “athletic events for savages” took place earlier. Van der Merwe writes that these events included stone-throwing battles, javelin throwing for accuracy, tree climbing, and other track and field sports, in which Mashiani and Tau participated. They were part of the South African War Show at the fair and had likely served as messengers for the Boers during the war.

In the one-mile race, Lentauw set a fast pace but was eventually overtaken by other competitors. Both runners were probably from South Africa’s Tswana ethnic group, though international reports referred to them as Zulu. Van der Merwe believes they had served under Boer General Piet Cronje, which explains their endurance.

The Marathon

The 1904 Olympic marathon was a grueling 40km race held in 32°C heat, worsened by dust from passing automobiles. The runners started in two rows, with Harris in the front and Mashiani and Tau in the back. Harris dropped out, while Tau finished 9th and Mashiani 12th. One of them was reported to have been chased off course by a dog, costing him a better finish.

Mashiani and Tau were the first indigenous Africans to compete in the Olympics. The next South African would be Ron Eland, who qualified for the British weightlifting team in 1948 before emigrating to the US and later Canada.

Aftermath

In 1948, South Africa introduced apartheid, a system of racial segregation imposed by the white minority government. This policy prevented black South Africans from representing their country at the Olympics. Due to apartheid, South Africa was banned from the Games from 1964 until 1992.

The story of Mashiani and Tau is a poignant reminder of the racism that has marred the history of the Olympics. It is also a testament to the resilience of black athletes who, despite facing immense prejudice, made their mark on the world stage. Documenting and sharing these histories is essential in reclaiming the legacy of African athletes and acknowledging the systemic barriers they have overcome.

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EDITORIAL

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud: Somalia’s Ultimate Betrayer

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How One Man is Auctioning His Nation to the Highest Bidder

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia has cemented his place in history not as a statesman, but as the most corrupt and treacherous leader the nation has ever seen. In an unprecedented betrayal, Mohamud has systematically auctioned off Somalia’s resources and sovereignty to foreign powers, including Türkiye, Iran, Russia, and their proxies. This catastrophic leadership is driving Somalia into deeper chaos and instability, undermining the country’s future while empowering terrorists like Al-Shabaab and ISIS.

In a move that can only be described as a desperate scramble for power and personal gain, President Mohamud has signed multiple agreements with Türkiye that strip Somalia of its resources and autonomy. The maritime and defense agreement signed in February 2024 effectively hands over Somalia’s maritime security to Turkish control for the next decade. Türkiye is set to receive 30% of the revenue from Somalia’s exclusive economic zone, a blatant exploitation of the nation’s wealth.

But the betrayal doesn’t stop there. The oil and gas cooperation deal inked in March 2024 allows Türkiye to dominate Somalia’s petroleum industry. With Turkish officials planning to start offshore drilling by 2025, Somalia’s oil resources are essentially being handed over, with little benefit to the Somali people. This partnership, hailed by Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar, spells disaster for Somalia’s economic independence.

Perhaps the most egregious aspect of Mohamud’s rule is his disturbing alliances with terrorist organizations. Despite international efforts to curb terrorism in Somalia, Mohamud has entertained the notion of reconciliation with Al-Shabaab, the very group responsible for countless atrocities in the country. This reckless approach not only emboldens terrorists but also jeopardizes the safety and security of the entire region.

Reports have emerged suggesting that Houthi rebels in Yemen, with potential backing from Iran, are considering arming Al-Shabaab. This collaboration, though ideologically puzzling, poses a severe threat to regional stability. Mohamud’s inability to curb such developments highlights his ineptitude and the dangerous alliances he fosters.

Corruption is the hallmark of Mohamud’s administration. Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index places Somalia at the very bottom, a testament to the rampant graft that pervades every level of government. Mohamud has consistently prioritized personal gain over national interest, filling key government positions with family members and loyalists who facilitate his corrupt activities.

The international community, particularly the United States and the European Union, has poured hundreds of millions of dollars annually into Somalia’s defense and security sectors. Despite this substantial support, the Somali National Army remains ineffective, crippled by corruption and mismanagement. This financial aid, intended to combat groups like Al-Shabaab, is instead lining the pockets of Mohamud and his cronies.

Under Mohamud’s leadership, Somalia has become a pawn in the geopolitical games of foreign powers. Türkiye’s influence in Somalia, established through military training and infrastructural projects, has grown unchecked. Camp TURKSOM in Mogadishu and the training of elite Somali units underscore Türkiye’s deep entrenchment in Somali affairs. Meanwhile, other foreign powers like the Iran, Russia, and China vie for control, further destabilizing the region.

The strategic importance of the Horn of Africa, rich in minerals and located at key maritime crossroads, has attracted a multitude of foreign military bases. These bases, primarily for counterterrorism and counterpiracy, highlight the intense international interest in the region. However, under Mohamud’s corrupt and incompetent rule, Somalia is unable to leverage this interest for its benefit, instead becoming a battlefield for foreign interests.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s presidency represents a dark chapter in Somalia’s history. His corrupt dealings, betrayal of national interests, and empowerment of terrorists have plunged the country into deeper turmoil. The international community must hold Mohamud accountable for his actions and support the Somali people in their quest for a leader who will genuinely work for their welfare, not sell their nation to the highest bidder.

Somalia deserves better than a leader who prioritizes personal gain over national prosperity. It is time for a new chapter, one where Somalia’s resources are used to benefit its people, not foreign powers and corrupt officials. The world must wake up to Mohamud’s treachery and demand change before it’s too late.

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EDITORIAL

How Reading and Writing Can Empower Somaliland Youth to Make Their Mark on the World

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Harnessing the Power of Words to Inspire a New Generation of Leaders

Discover how reading and writing can transform the lives of Somaliland youth, empowering them to find their voice, achieve greatness, and become influential leaders.

Imagine a world where your words hold the power to change lives, influence decisions, and create a legacy that outlives you. For the students of Somaliland, this is not just a distant dream but a tangible reality waiting to be seized. In a world that increasingly values articulate communication and critical thinking, the youth of Somaliland can rise to prominence by embracing the transformative power of reading and writing.

Your time is incredibly valuable. If you’re a university student, consider this: every productive hour spent on improving your skills compounds over a lifetime, yielding benefits far beyond the immediate. Even if we conservatively estimate your time’s worth at $50 an hour, that’s $2,000 a week, or $100,000 a year, in potential value. Imagine how much better your life could be if you invested that time wisely instead of wasting it.

One of the most impactful ways to invest your time is by reading and writing. Take the example of “The Da Vinci Code,” a book that captivated millions with its mysteries and insights into a world beyond the ordinary. This book resonated with readers because it promised access to hidden knowledge and a sense of adventure. This same allure can be harnessed by the youth of Somaliland through the power of their own words.

Learning to write is essentially learning to think. Writing formalizes your thoughts, helping you to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively. To write well, you need a problem to solve. This problem gives your writing purpose and direction. Whether it’s an essay for class or a personal project, start by identifying an issue that truly interests you. Engage deeply with the material, read extensively on the subject, and distill what you’ve learned into a coherent argument.

The process of writing involves organizing your thoughts, choosing the right words, and structuring your sentences and paragraphs logically. This rigorous exercise not only sharpens your intellect but also integrates your personality at a higher level of organization. By honing your writing skills, you become a more articulate and persuasive individual, capable of influencing others and achieving your goals.

Imagine the impact you can have if you master the art of communication. Effective writers and speakers possess authority and competence. They can inspire action, negotiate effectively, and lead with vision. In the context of Somaliland, where the voices of the youth can shape the future, becoming an articulate communicator is not just a personal achievement but a societal necessity.

Your journey begins with reading. Dive into books that challenge your thinking and broaden your horizons. Read everything you can get your hands on, particularly those texts that address the problems you’re passionate about. Reading enriches your knowledge base and provides diverse perspectives that you can draw upon in your writing.

Writing, on the other hand, is where you refine your thoughts and make them accessible to others. Practice writing daily, focusing on topics that matter to you. Through consistent effort, you will discover your true voice and learn to present your ideas convincingly.

Remember, your time at university is not just about earning grades. It’s about building a foundation for your future. Every essay, every assignment is an opportunity to develop your thinking and communication skills. Take these tasks seriously, and use them to practice articulating your thoughts clearly and persuasively.

In Somaliland, we need leaders who can articulate their vision and inspire others to action. By developing your reading and writing skills, you position yourself as a formidable force for positive change. You become someone who can navigate complex issues, propose innovative solutions, and rally others to your cause.

In conclusion, embrace the power of reading and writing. They are not just academic exercises but vital tools for personal and societal transformation. As you hone your skills, you will find your voice and realize your potential to make a significant impact on the world. Let your words be your legacy, and inspire others to follow in your footsteps.

By investing in reading and writing, the youth of Somaliland can unlock their full potential, becoming influential leaders who drive positive change. Seize this opportunity to develop your skills, find your voice, and leave an indelible mark on the world.

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EDITORIAL

Ibrahim Aidid Exposes Somaliland’s Media Corruption

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Somaliland’s Media Exposed: Ibrahim Aidid Unmasks the National Media’s Rotten Core

In the murky depths of Somaliland’s media landscape, one man stands out as a beacon of truth and integrity: Ibrahim Aidid. Broadcasting his influential program “Al-Xaqiiqa” from his platform on Facebook, Aidid has become a household name, renowned for his fearless exposés on the corruption and incompetence plaguing the Somaliland National Media. As a media personality with a significant following, Aidid’s critiques have ignited a firestorm of controversy, especially concerning the Somaliland Ministry of Information and its flagship, Somaliland National TV.

Aidid, from Australia, Heidelberg West but now based in Somaliland, has made it his mission to shed light on the rampant misinformation and hate speech that have come to define the local media landscape. He is particularly vocal about the Somaliland National TV, accusing spreading fake news. Aidid’s frustration is palpable as he recounts the false narratives propagated by the Ministry of Information, undermining the very fabric of the nation.

In a recent interview, Aidid didn’t mince words: “The worst thing is the fake news that the Somaliland Ministry of Information broadcasts,” he declared. His concerns were not unfounded. The false reports from the National TV even prompted a rebuttal from the U.S. State Department, facilitated by their Mogadishu embassy. Aidid highlighted this as a glaring example of the ministry’s incompetence and deceit.

Aidid’s damning indictment of the Somaliland media system extends beyond just the Ministry of Information. He accuses many journalists inside Somaliland of being mercenaries, selling their integrity to the highest bidder, often to the very enemies of Somaliland. In an interview with Abdi Shakur Haybe, the media director of Arabsiyo News, Aidid elaborated on how these journalists have betrayed their homeland for financial gain, turning the press into a tool for foreign adversaries.

“Several hundreds of people are spies for the enemy of Somaliland, including journalists who are paid by enemy governments,” Aidid revealed. He lamented the infiltration of the media by individuals who have sold their souls, contributing to the dark future that looms over Somaliland.

Aidid’s critiques have not gone unnoticed. Waryatv.com, a prominent online media outlet, has praised his unflinching honesty and the insights he brings to the fore. Aidid’s points resonate deeply, especially when he calls out the National TV for its recent falsehoods. “The national media did not work the way it was supposed to and became ineffective,” he said, pointing to a fabricated report about a supposed U.S. endorsement of the MOU agreement between Somaliland and Ethiopia as a prime example.

The National TV should inform us about the truth, not false news that was fabricated,” Aidid asserted. His frustration with the system is evident as he criticizes the lack of quality and integrity in the information being disseminated. He called for evidence to counter his claims, challenging the Ministry of Information to prove him wrong.

Aidid’s advocacy for transparency and truth is a stark contrast to the reality of the media landscape in Somaliland. He has stepped into a role that many would shy away from, becoming a voice for the people and a thorn in the side of corrupt officials. His commentary is not just a critique but a call to action, urging the public and the media to uphold the values of honesty and integrity.

The burgeoning social media landscape in Somaliland, with its 4.8 million internet users and 2.4 million active social media participants, reflects both a promise and a peril. While it offers unprecedented access to information, it also poses a significant threat through the spread of hate speech and misinformation. Aidid‘s observations echo a broader concern about the impact of these trends on Somaliland’s political and social cohesion.

Research by waryatv.com underscores the critical threat posed by the proliferation of hate speech and false information. Somaliland have failed to adequately address these issues, allowing activists, content creators, politicians, and religious leaders to spread harmful rhetoric unchecked.

Aidid’s mission is clear: to expose the rot within Somaliland’s media and advocate for a return to ethical journalism. His program “Al-Xaqiiqa” has become a bastion of truth, a place where listeners can find unfiltered commentary on the issues that matter most. His relentless pursuit of the truth has made him a hero to many, a voice of reason in a sea of deception.

As Somaliland continues to navigate its complex political landscape, voices like Ibrahim Aidid’s are more crucial than ever. His bravery in speaking out against the corruption and incompetence within the media serves as a rallying cry for those who value truth and integrity. In the end, it is through the efforts of individuals like Aidid that Somaliland can hope to reclaim its media and ensure a brighter future for its people.

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EDITORIAL

Ethiopia’s Rightful Access to the Sea: Embracing Historical Ties with Somaliland

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Reclaiming Maritime Sovereignty through International Law and Strategic Alliances

Ethiopia, the world’s most populous landlocked nation, is asserting its historical and legal right to access the Red Sea, bolstered by a strategic agreement with Somaliland.

Ethiopia, the largest landlocked country globally with a population exceeding 120 million, is making a compelling case for its right to access the Red Sea. This effort is rooted in historical ties and reinforced by international law, and has recently gained momentum through a strategic partnership with Somaliland. This article explores Ethiopia’s bid for maritime sovereignty and highlights the significance of its relationship with Somaliland.

Historically, Ethiopia held a prominent position on the Red Sea. During the mid-19th century, Ethiopian leaders like Yohannes IV and Ras Alula Nega engaged in diplomacy and military efforts to maintain control over their maritime territories. However, colonial machinations by European powers, notably Britain and Italy, undermined Ethiopia’s sovereignty. The transfer of the Massawa littoral to Italy and the occupation of Assab Bay marked the beginning of Ethiopia’s maritime isolation. Despite winning the Battle of Adwa in 1896, Ethiopia’s access to the sea remained curtailed by European control of coastal regions.

The end of World War II presented an opportunity for Ethiopia to reclaim its maritime rights. Through diplomatic efforts at post-war peace summits and the United Nations, Ethiopia argued for the decolonization of former Italian colonies, including Eritrea. The 1952 UN resolution, which created the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea, temporarily restored Ethiopia’s access to the sea. However, Eritrea’s independence in 1993 once again left Ethiopia landlocked.

Today, Ethiopia relies heavily on the port of Djibouti for its maritime trade, with 70% of cargo at the port destined for or coming from Ethiopia. This dependency underscores the economic necessity for Ethiopia to secure direct access to the Red Sea. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has emphasized that Ethiopia’s geographical position and economic needs justify its peaceful claim to maritime access.

In a significant move, Ethiopia and Somaliland have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) granting Ethiopia a 20-kilometer lease along Somaliland’s Red Sea coastline. This historic agreement not only diversifies Ethiopia’s port access but also solidifies the longstanding relationship between the two nations. Somaliland, which declared its 1960 independence back from Somalia in 1991 but lacks widespread international recognition, stands to gain from Ethiopia’s support in its quest for recognition.

International law supports Ethiopia’s bid for maritime access. The principle of equitable access to the sea for landlocked countries is enshrined in various international treaties and conventions. Moreover, the 1952 UN resolution acknowledged Ethiopia’s right to the sea, a precedent that Ethiopia continues to invoke. The recent agreement with Somaliland aligns with these legal frameworks and demonstrates a pragmatic approach to addressing Ethiopia’s maritime aspirations.

The partnership between Ethiopia and Somaliland has broader implications for regional stability and cooperation. By fostering economic interdependence and political support, both nations can enhance their security and prosperity. This collaboration also serves as a model for resolving similar disputes in the Horn of Africa and beyond.

Ethiopia’s pursuit of maritime access is not merely a matter of historical entitlement but a pressing economic and geopolitical necessity. The agreement with Somaliland represents a significant step towards reclaiming Ethiopia’s rightful place on the Red Sea. As Ethiopia and Somaliland strengthen their ties, they pave the way for a more stable and prosperous future for the region. This strategic alliance underscores the enduring importance of historical connections and international law in shaping contemporary geopolitics.

By advocating for its maritime rights through peaceful and legal means, Ethiopia sets a precedent for other landlocked nations. The support for Somaliland’s recognition further exemplifies Ethiopia’s commitment to regional solidarity and mutual development. This narrative of historical justice and strategic foresight positions Ethiopia on a path to reclaiming its maritime sovereignty and securing a brighter future for its people.

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Analysis

Is an Israel-Hezbollah War Inevitable?

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By signaling its unwavering support for Tel Aviv in any potential campaign, Washington may be edging this looming conflict closer to reality. The exchanges of fire between Israel and Hezbollah have been a persistent feature over the past eight months, recently intensifying to an alarming degree. This situation has the potential to escalate into a full-blown war in two primary ways.

One possible route to escalation is for the current tit-for-tat exchanges to spiral out of control, leading to an unintended and uncontrollable conflict. This could occur as each side attempts to deter future attacks by responding forcefully to the most recent ones. The second potential path to war would be a deliberate decision by one side to engage in full-scale conflict. Hezbollah is unlikely to choose this route. The organization has made it clear that its actions are in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza and in support of Hamas, rather than a desire for an all-out war with Israel. The 2006 conflict, which resulted in significant human and material costs for Hezbollah, serves as a cautionary tale.

Iran warns Israel of ‘obliterating’ war if Lebanon attacked

Israel, on the other hand, might consider launching a full-scale war in Lebanon in the coming months if the situation does not spiral out of control first. Reports suggest that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has conveyed to Arab officials his belief that Israel is intent on invading Lebanon. Such an invasion would likely be driven by internal political and emotional factors rather than a clear-eyed assessment of Israeli security interests.

One of the driving factors behind this potential escalation is the plight of approximately 60,000 Israelis displaced from northern Israel due to security concerns. These individuals represent a significant political force advocating for decisive action to improve security and allow their return. Although a full-scale war might initially worsen the security situation, there is a misplaced hope that aggressive military action could lead to a long-term solution.

The personal political and legal situation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also a major factor. Netanyahu’s hold on power and his ability to avoid corruption charges may hinge on maintaining a state of war. With the “intense phase” of the war with Hamas seemingly drawing to a close, Netanyahu might see a new conflict with Hezbollah as essential to his political survival. His coalition partners, such as Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, are also hardliners who favor military action against Hezbollah.

US warns Israeli offensive in Lebanon could bring wider war, draw in Iran

An additional factor is the belief among some Israelis that southern Lebanon is part of “greater Israel” and should be subject to military conquest and settlement. While this idea is on the fringe, it has gained some traction in recent years.

Israel’s previous military operations in Lebanon suggest that a new conflict would not achieve lasting security. Israel invaded Lebanon in 1978 and again in 1982, maintaining an occupation of southern Lebanon until 2000. Despite these efforts, Hezbollah remains a formidable force. The 2006 war demonstrated Hezbollah’s resilience, and the group has only grown stronger since then. Estimates of Hezbollah’s rocket and missile arsenal suggest it could inflict significant damage on Israel, despite the sophistication of Israeli air defenses.

The Biden administration genuinely seeks to avoid a new Israel-Hezbollah war, but its efforts face significant challenges. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which aimed to resolve the 2006 conflict, provides a potential framework for peace. However, the current negative atmosphere and Hezbollah’s solidarity with Gaza Palestinians complicate these efforts.

UN Chief Warns: Lebanon Cannot Become Another Gaza

The administration’s declaratory policy, including assurances of support for Israel in the event of a conflict, may inadvertently encourage Israeli aggression. If a full-scale war does break out, the world is likely to view the United States as complicit, leading to diplomatic isolation and increased anti-American sentiment.

Ultimately, an Israeli invasion of Lebanon would likely result in extensive destruction without achieving long-term security. Instead, it could further entrench Hezbollah’s role as a defender against Israeli aggression and exacerbate regional instability. The Biden administration’s challenge is to navigate these complex dynamics and prevent a conflict that would have far-reaching and devastating consequences for the region and beyond.

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Africa

Somaliland’s Tribal Power Struggle: Wadani vs. KAAH

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How Clan Loyalties and Traditional Leaders Threaten the November 2024 Elections –

Somaliland is witnessing a disturbing regression into tribal politics as it gears up for the November 2024 elections. What was once a beacon of hope for democracy in the Horn of Africa is now at risk of being overshadowed by the sinister influence of clan loyalties and traditional leaders. The upcoming elections, rather than being a celebration of democratic progress, are turning into a tribal showdown that threatens the very fabric of Somaliland’s hard-won peace and stability.

The recent clash between KAAH chairman Mahmoud Hashi and Wadani party candidate Abdirahman Cirro over the Habarjeclo votes has laid bare the ugly reality of Somaliland’s political landscape. This isn’t just a political disagreement; it’s a struggle for tribal dominance that is eroding the democratic principles Somaliland has strived to uphold.

Imagine this: after decades of fighting for independence and building a semblance of democratic governance, the people of Somaliland now find their fate being decided not by the ballot box, but by traditional clan elders. These elders, particularly from the Habarjeclo tribe, have blatantly disregarded Somaliland’s electoral laws, crafting new rules that serve their interests and sidelining the nation’s constitution. This brazen power grab is nothing short of a betrayal of the people’s trust and a mockery of their democratic aspirations.

The complicity of legislative councils and the senate, dominated by Habarjeclo figures, in this travesty is particularly egregious. They have not only sanctioned this illegal takeover but actively participated in it. This scandalous subversion of democracy is a stark reminder of how fragile Somaliland’s political system remains. The upcoming elections, instead of being a beacon of democratic progress, risk becoming a farce dominated by tribal allegiance.

Let’s be clear: this isn’t just about political maneuvering. It’s about the future of a nation and its people. The orchestrated push by traditional Habarjeclo leaders to monopolize political power and exclude other parties from the presidential race on November 13, 2024, is a direct assault on the multi-party system. This system, which allows for political plurality, is being systematically dismantled in favor of tribal hegemony. The exclusion of the Horseed and Hilaac organizations and the aggressive stance of the Wadani party only exacerbate the situation, creating an atmosphere of tension and instability.

What is perhaps most alarming is the silence of Somaliland’s educated elite and those in top positions. Their acquiescence—or worse, their complicity—in this regression into tribalism is a betrayal of their responsibilities. How can these leaders, who should be the vanguards of democracy, remain silent as the nation teeters on the brink of tribal anarchy?

The spectacle of three politicians from the Habarjeclo tribe—Mohamed Kahin of Kulmiye, Hirsi Haji Ali of Wadani, and Mahmoud Hashi of KAAH—competing for their tribe’s votes is a damning indictment of Somaliland’s political landscape. This internal feud, framed as a struggle for tribal dominance, is a disgrace to the democratic ideals that Somaliland purportedly upholds.

The people of Somaliland deserve better. They deserve leaders who prioritize national unity and democratic governance over narrow tribal interests. The November 2024 elections should be an opportunity to reaffirm Somaliland’s commitment to democracy, not a descent into tribal chaos.

Mahmoud Hashi’s attempt to leverage Abdirahman Irro’s power for the benefit of KAAH, and Irro’s refusal to relinquish Wadani’s presidential ambitions, only highlights the extent to which tribal politics has corrupted the electoral process. This sordid saga of backroom deals and tribal horse-trading is a travesty of democracy.

The people of Somaliland have not endured decades of conflict and instability only to see their democratic dreams dashed by the whims of tribal leaders. The silent majority—the ordinary men and women who want nothing more than peace, stability, and a voice in their own governance—must stand up and demand better. They must hold their leaders accountable and insist on a return to the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

As the elections approach, it is imperative that the international community and the people of Somaliland hold their leaders accountable. The time has come to reject the pernicious influence of tribal politics and demand a return to democratic principles. Only by doing so can Somaliland hope to achieve the peace and stability that its people so desperately crave.

The future of Somaliland hangs in the balance. Will it be a future defined by democratic progress and national unity, or will it be marred by tribalism and division? The choice lies in the hands of the Somaliland people and their leaders. The world is watching, and the stakes could not be higher.

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