The Horn Of Africa States: The Plan Of EAC To Defeat And Absorb HAS – OpEd

In an article on Diplomacy and War by Robert Weiner and Paul Sharp published online on December 22nd, 2017 by the international Studies Association and Oxford University Press, it was noted that “Scholars acknowledge that there is a close connection between diplomacy and war, but they disagree with regard to the character of this connection—what it is and what it ought to be”.  But they also asserted that “the present diplomatic system is founded on the view that state interests may be pursued, international order maintained, and changes effected in it by both diplomacy and war as two faces of a single statecraft.” 

In this article we are reviewing the war of the East African Community on the Horn of Africa States and, indeed, involving a planned strategic warfare involving both diplomatic and at times physical warfare on the Horn of Africa States region. Indeed, Kenya’s Operation Linda Nchi (Swahili: Linda Nchi; “Protect the Country”) was a direct invasion of Somalia in 2011. The Kenya Government only declared the completion of the operation when it was admitted into the AMISOM in Somalia (Read: “The Kenyan Military Intervention in Somalia”– International Crisis Group, 15 February 2012, and Williams, Paul D. “Joining AMISOM: Why Six African States Contributed Troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia.” Journal of Eastern African Studies 12, no. 1 (January 2, 2018): 172–92.

Some of us know of this but others, and unfortunately the majority population of the HAS region, remain unaware and unprepared for this onslaught, indeed, this sweetened assault of the East Africa Community soon to become the East Africa Federation on the Horn of Africa States region. The first salvo has been launched at the weakest of the Horn of Africa States, Somalia. It took years to weaken it through civil wars, terror groups, political disarray, clan and internecine bloodletting, complicated by unexpected and harsh environmental changes, which seem to have pronounced more the aftereffects of droughts, famines, hunger, starvation, and foreign interventions. Many Somalis, at least those with institutional memory, skills and knowledge in the country, were indirectly removed from the country through migration and refugees, and most of them died, while lingering in far off countries waiting for the day they would return. 

That never happened, for the plan of the EAC soon to be the EAF and forces behind it, kept the assault on the country. The state was kept in a state of flux, and it still is, and broken down into clan fiefdoms that do not shed tears for each other despite the traditional Somali nationalistic spirit of always. It was denied reconstituting itself despite the fact that it is, probably, the only homogenous nation in the world with its culture  remaining  free from external contamination, which is felt and seen in most other African countries. The current assault on the country is to help destroy that thousands of years old Somali purity and cultural independence. 

The assault on Somalia was voracious and a claim on its seas and marine coast was launched, which took years for weakened Somalia to fend off, but at the end losing a portion of its marine space to the EAC. The EAC found itself on stronger ground and continued the assault, which led to the first defeat of the Horn of Africa States region, the capture and loss of Mogadishu to the EAC, which has now become  part of the EAC confederacy last month of November 2023, soon to be the East African Federation.

This has helped the prestige of the EAC rise in the African continent and elsewhere. It now poses itself as a major force to be reckoned with – a population of over 300 million, an area of 5.8 million sq, km and a vastly improved maritime space that now includes the entrance to the Red Sea and hence the Suez Canal and the northern Indian Ocean, the Somali Sea. It is stretched from ocean to ocean i.e. the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean. The next target is shivering and this, no doubt for all who see, means Ethiopia.

The country is being subjected to the same processes that weakened Somalia and made it an easy victim to swallow. Civil strives are being encouraged, the government is kept busy from its duties of governance and development activities  through a process of putting off fires that are flaring up from almost every corner of the country, complicated by not so good relations with some of the neighboring countries, even those they were supposedly close to recently. 

The Ethiopian population appears to be losing its traditional tenacity to Ethiopian-ness and seem to be now more tribal, the same disease that destroyed Somalia and this virus is spreading at a fast speed. No wonder, the Ethiopian government lost its nerve recently, when it lamented on the lack of no access to a sea outlet. They felt the heat of the EAC assault on the region.

Ethiopia is no doubt under attack, for it stood aloof, when Somalia was being ripped apart, forgetting that it would be next, just like the three cows and the lion. It did, indeed, participate in the process of weakening Somalia without knowing that the ultimate price was itself, Ethiopia, which is now the target of the EAC. Under the current pressures on the country, it appears, it has no way other than to run to the EAC as well and become part of the oncoming EAF. The next target would be Eritrea and Djibouti, the last remaining passions of the Horn of Africa States and should Ethiopia fall, the other two would follow, certainly.

This is the general plan of the EAC to wipe out the historical existence of the region, wherein they would like to see that others only talk of East Africa and not the Horn of Africa States. Does the HAS region have a chance to survive this EAC assault? Indeed, it has, but it, of course, needs hard work and dedication on the part of the people of the region and Ethiopia, in particular, to confront this EAC onslaught.

It is perhaps time the Horn of Africa States region took stock of its situation, its potential and its survivability in this deadly struggle. And Ethiopia, which owns the largest economy, the largest population and the largest area, should better lead the way. It should be able to start with holding conferences with both Djibouti and Eritrea and keep what is left of the region alive and away from the EAC enticements socially, economically and of course, politically and work on recovering Somalia from the jaws of the EAC beast.

We know the Horn of Africa States would survive the assault but only if all the sons and daughters of the region wake up to the threat, the continuing war against the region and its people. It is most surprising to note that some Somalis, who can only see a little beyond their noses, celebrate the loss of sovereignty of their country that is sure to come in the formation of the EAF. The large majority of Somalis are unaware at this moment that the President of the Federal Government of Somalia has just signed away the future of the nation, its territory and its seas. The bicameral Federal Parliament should not ratify and put into law a Somalia accession to the EAC. They should remember their colleagues of years earlier who refused to let go of the Somali sea to Kenya, which helped the country retain at least the majority of the sea claimed wrongly then by Kenya. We must appeal to their wisdom and, for once, their nationalism.         

Many of the people of the Horn of Africa States region would be surprised at this article and the notion of an assault of the EAC on the HAS region, which is being executed with great diligence and through a sophisticated plan. The war on the region is not, indeed, a physical war but a war of  a political,  diplomatic, economic, and geostrategic nature. These wars involve diplomatic, intelligence, information, cyber, security and economic wars that affect the decision-making processes of the region both at the regional level and at the national levels.

The EAC has deployed all of these on Somalia, the weakest among the countries of the Horn of Africa States and the final weapon used to put the final killing nail on the coffin of Somalia was economic subversion, where the authorities and some of the unsuspecting populations were convinced that that it is more beneficial and, of course more profitable, to invest in East Africa than their own country. No wonder many Somalis now invest glaringly in Nairobi, which more or less looks like a Somali Capital than a Kenyan Capital. It does not matter, the source of these investment funds, which were encouraged to arrive.

The war is being carried out covertly and overtly and the Horn of Africa States region is mostly unaware, at present, of this war against the region. It is being carried out in a way not to arouse the authorities of the region nor its populations to gain advantage over the region. A major goal has been won and that was the accession of Somalia into the EAC infrastructure, and it is currently in the firm hands of the EAC. The next target, which is being sought, is the bigger pie and probably the most important, Ethiopia. It is being persuaded to join for it would have access to the longest coast of Africa, the Somali coast of 3,300 km, which Somalia could not refuse or at least would be much cheaper for them to invest through the terms of the EAC.

They are forgetting that Ethiopia could have the same access if it, indeed, helped create a Horn of Africa States regional block. This is being ignored and the country is being now subjected to internal shocks and its statehood is being questioned through tribal wars. The Tigrayan war mediated with the good offices of the EAC (Uhuru Kenyatta), the Afar-Somali war, the ongoing Amhara war, and others, all but represent, efforts to weaken the Ethiopian state.

The Horn of Africa States enjoys a culture and history that dates back to the cradle of mankind. It is a geographical space which houses the same people in the easternmost region of the African continent. It is a region that comprises the SEED countries, namely Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti. It covers an area of nearly 2 million sq. km and owns a maritime coast of some 4,700 km, and hence potentially a huge maritime economic space. It strategically overlooks the southern coast of the Red Sea, Bab El Mandab Straits, the Gulf of Aden and the northern Indian Ocean (the Somali Sea). It is the source of the Blue Nile which provides most fresh water to northeast Africa (Sudan and Egypt), and it has a vast agricultural base. It is a region which is natural for itself to make a group as no country can exist on its own in these hard times of the early 21st century. It is time they pushed back this unwarranted assault on the region and hard, using the same means. Together the SEED countries can negotiate good terms of whatever nature for the region, including trading and diplomatic relations with the EAC itself.