9 Comments

A really useful overview that we don't get to read all too often. Thank you!

Expand full comment

Very good piece; thanks.

Expand full comment
Nov 3, 2023Liked by Ken Opalo

You make a compelling case. Which is depressing, because surely the only way for Ethiopia to have reliable control over a seaport is for Ethiopia to take ownership of one. And there's no way that doesn't involve the sound of sixteen horseshoes getting every closer.

Expand full comment
Nov 3, 2023Liked by Ken Opalo

And thank you very much for the great work

Expand full comment

I can't help but think of how inflammatory the military/navy element would be received by the rest of the horn. The memory of Ethiopian colonialism is very strong, especially among Somali and Eritreans. I'm also not sure it gets Ethiopia much. Having a navy isn't much leverage over Djibouti (the ultimate gatekeeper) and it's extensive foreign support. In the short run, making deals with Somaliland and Djibouti to have partial ownership over both ports seems like a better bet. Developing options would give Addis leverage. Developing a costly navy in a stretch of ocean well protected by established great powers doesn't make sense to me. Especially given the costly internal conflicts that Ethiopia must adequately deal with before projecting power abroad.

Expand full comment

An interesting issue here, is why Sonaliland has never achieved international recognition, and the pros and cons of its international recognition. It looks a relatively functional country; I am not sure to what extent there is a Somali government.

Expand full comment