Ethiopian Foreign Policy and the Ogaden War: The Shift from ‘Containment’ to ‘Destabilization,’ 1977–1991

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Yihun, Belete Belachew (2014) Ethiopian Foreign Policy and the Ogaden War: The Shift from ‘Containment’ to ‘Destabilization,’ 1977–1991, Journal of Eastern African Studies 8(4): 677–691.

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​With Siad Barre's invasion of Ethiopia in 1977, the military regime of the Derg implement policies aimed at the weakening and destabilization of the Republic of Somalia. This initiative was not entirely novel but was based upon precautionary plans first laid down under the imperial administration of Haile Selassie. The defeat of the Somalia army in the Ogaden would in fact herald the beginnings of the collapse of the power of Siad Barre and the Somali state, but the destabilization of Somalia has also destabilized the entire region of the Horn of Africa. This article charts the Ethiopian response to Somali irredentism at this crucial time, particularly focusing on the clandestine operations by the Derg to permanently eliminate the threat posed by Somalia. Previously untapped archival materials from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs are used as the basis for this analysis of Ethiopia's foreign policy.

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