Egypt who’s life depends on the Nile River which originates from the Ethiopian Highlands year round rains had always objected and questioned the Ethiopian usage of the its Nile waters, after successfully convinced Somalia its Arabnnes to be a member of Arab League, since Somalia became a member of the Arab League in early 70s Egypt played the Arab League card against Ethiopia and supported Somalia in 1977 Ethio/Somalia war by arming Siad Barre’s army to the teeth combat Ethiopian army. The only reason Somalia became an Arab country/Arab League member was for political and strategic purpose against Ethiopia.
At the moment since Ethiopia began the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam Egypt has been wary of how the Grand Renaissance Dam completion will affect the flow of the Nile waters into Egypt. Even though Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have met several occasions regarding the usage of Ethiopia its own Nile water and its effect on Egypt and agreements have been reached among the concerned parties, Egypt is still untrustworthy and trying to revive the Arab League Card by sending high level official military officers to Somalia last week who visited military bases of Somalia and went to Hargiesa to meet with Somaliland officials, all in all to send indirect message to Ethiopian Government..
But the dilemma Egypt facing is Somalia is not the Somalia Egypt knew in the 70s, Somalia is in chaos and its weak government is protected by AMISOM, multi troops from African countries, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi.
Somalia doesn’t have a stable army and whenever an effort is made to integrate clan militia to form an army unit they turn their against guns against each other based on clan rivalry, where they have never been reconciled.
Since the fall of late Siad Barre and Mangistu Haile Mariam military Regimes of Somalia and Ethiopia in early 90s. EPRDF, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front led by late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Current PM Desalegn Hailemariam have been trying to stabilize Somalia by either holding reconciliations among former warlords or supporting prior transitional governments where the Arab League turned a blind eye on the plight of the people of Somalia, and just woke up mow to challenge the Turkey takeover of Somalia.
On the other hand Somaliland which declared independence and withdrawal from the union with Somalia on May 18, 1991, didn’t have a good relation with Egypt since the rebellious movement of SNM against Siad Barre regime of Somalia in early 80s where Egypt was its big military supporter, where hundreds of Somalilanders and SNM supporters were extradited from Egypt to be executed by Siad Barre security.
Ethiopia and Somaliland have had a great relation and cooperation economically, in security, and socially, today Ethiopia is a gateway for Somaliland to the international community be it AU, UN and EU, where Somaliland officials meet them in Addis Ababa
In mid 80s when SNM rebellious began against Siad Barre and his military were committing atrocities and genocide against the Somaliland people, most of the Somaliland civilians sought refuge in Eastern Ethiopia and were welcomed and accepted as war refugees, where on the other hand most of Arab League members like Egypt were sending Somalilanders back to Siad Barre custody.
The Somaliland people will never forget what Ethiopia has done for them and there will never be a country that could fit its shoes for Somaliland. However, it’s unknown how Somalia will help Egypt against Ethiopia and the Arab League Card would work, when the Ethiopian children are giving their lives to combat Al-shabab terrorist in the name of AMISOM to stabilize Somalia. Egypt needs to work with Ethiopia honestly instead of beating around the bush.
Mohamud A Samatar