Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomeEditorialSomalia is Again on the cusp of a new Cold War.

Somalia is Again on the cusp of a new Cold War.

Garowe Puntland History may repeat itself in the horn of Africa. Since the European scramble to colonize Africa and other contents of the world, the Horn of Africa was a prime target for countries that had military power, economic interest, and geopolitical reach.


First, it was Great Britain, Italy, and France, during the Colonial era at the end of the nineteenth century, who felt the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean trade routes were vital for their national interest.


They curved the land and coast inhabited by Somalis into pieces that shaped the future geopolitics of the Horn of Africa region in the twenties and twenty-first century.
These Colonial blunders predicated more than enough calamities of world wars, Colonial rivalries, insurgencies, nationalist upheavals, cutthroat cold-war theater between the Soviet Union and the US, and finally rush for military bases by the US, China, Russia, Egypt, UAE, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, and others.


Another country, that is stealthy and omnipresent in this region, with apparent security and trade vital interests, is Israel. It protects its interests and exerts its influence quietly and efficiently.


Each of these countries has one or more national strategic interest to come, compete and buy influence in Horn of Africa countries, particularly Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Eritrea. Their strategic, geopolitical, security, economic, and trade interests vary.


Some come and do their own bidding by all means possible. Others do things on the behest of their political proxies.

Some of the glaring examples of the fierce competitors in the horn of Africa are: China which has established first Africa Military Base in the tiny enclave of Djibouti at the mouth of Golf of Aden. That Military Base is now able to accommodate Aircraft Carriers, and it projects its influence in the whole sub-region and specially Ethiopia’s oil and gas rich Ogden Basin.


Iran seeks uranium from central Somalia. Norway, Italy, Qatar, and others collude to muscle Somalia from offshore oil and gas deposits.
Turkey established itself with a huge Military Base in Somalia.


US soot to have a Military presence in Somalia since its independence in 1960. The United States never had a real challenge keeping Somalia in its sphere of influence except for the Soviet Union in the seventies and eighties and now China and Turkey.


With all of the scramble and competition among powerful countries for Somalia’s strategic location, and potential oil and gas deposits, one can wonder, what will be the future of Somalia?


It looks like a hopeless quagmire for any nation to survive in this kind of situation. But the mart domestic and foreign policies Somalia has to put its domestic situation in order, have a strategic partnership with the United States, and move expeditiously to realize membership with East African Community.


Dahir Mire Jibreel, Ph.D.

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