Mazrui ones described the Horn of Africa as a region trapped between Marginalization and globalization.
In the recent history the region has been in the mix of two global waves: the Cold War and the War on Terror. Ethiopia and Uganda have been caught in the middle of both.
Whether it was during the Cold War or the War on Terror, Somalia always arose America’s suspicion, while Ethiopia was always viewed positively.
In a declassified State Department conversation US Secretary of state speaking with
Somalia’s Minister for Mineral and Water Resources Hussien Abdulkadir Kassim, Minister of Mineral and Somali’s Ambassador to Washington Abudllahi Adu Addou October 8, 1976, said,
“ I have learned a lot from watching African politics. You Somalis are rough. I do not mean that as a criticism, but you play tough internal politics. ..I do not believe that Africans as a group are hostile, but if you look at the actions of the Somali Government, you can hardly judge them to be non-aligned. On almost every issue you oppose us. We can’t be wrong all the time. The law of average doesn’t work that way”
In all, the United States’ overarching strategy in the Horn is containment through exploiting mutual distrust and entrenched enmity between Ethiopia and Somalia. For its role during the Cold War and War in Terror, Ethiopia has received substantial material support.
Recently, In a Wikileak leaked Memo; the United States gave Ethiopia implicit green light to intervene in Somalia in 2006, although in public the official line was the United States was against the intervention. The line the late Meles sold to the Washington was the Jihadi’s are taking over Somalia.
At least, rhetorically, Al Shabaab positions itself as the custodian of the Somalia nationalism, and with Ethiopia poised to join Amisom Al Shabaab have escalated their trenchant anti-Ethiopia rhetoric. On whether this will have traction with the majority of the Somalia is a subject of conjecture, but what is not in doubt is even those who dislike Al Shabaab do not automatically warm up to the Ethiopians.