A friend of mine sent me a much circulated WhatsApp message the other day about an imminent or ongoing Ethiopian invasion of Somalia under the pretext of propping up Farmajo. I expressed my doubt about that possibility happening any time soon. My skepticism is based on the fact that Ethiopian forces had suffered heavily in Mogadishu during their occupation (2006-2009) at hands of Al-Shabab militants -they would think twice before coming back to Somalia.
To appreciate the extent of their losses and eventual defeat, I will share you a story. I wasn’t with or a member of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), but I had volunteered to work on the release of a group of four young Somalis from Thailand prison. I was on my way to Bangkok via Addis Ababa. I flew from Mogadishu onboard a huge Ethiopian military transport aircraft full of wounded soldiers in late 2007. On the plane, the sound of moaning and crying of wounded soldiers were deadly shocking. The foul smell was suffocating and killing. Later in Addis Ababa, I had had a chance to visit the Ethiopian Ground Forces Hospital with the help of Hassan Taakilo, then the Military Affairs Coordinator at Abdullahi Yusuf’s Presidency (Villa Somalia) and his friends of TPLF military commanders on leave in Addis. By the way, based on my conversations with those TPLF military commanders from war front in Somalia, I discovered right there that, because of their long armed struggle with Mengistu Haile-Mariam Derg government, and the support they had received from Somalia then, the TPLF political/military establishment had had sympathy to Siyad Barre’s supporters and Marehan clan base. There, in the hospital, I saw hundreds, if not thousands of wounded and disabled Ethiopian soldiers brought from Mogadishu war theatre. It was the worst horror scene I had ever witnessed in my enire life.
Many Somalis don’t know about what had happened to the Ethiopians in Somalia. It was a military fiasco that shook the foundations of Melez Zenawi TPLF Government. It was an historic military defeat that would keep Ethiopia away from Somalia for a while. Somali Politicians, and especially the likes of Farmajo should know this recent history. Abyi Ahmed of Ethiopia isn’t too stupid to repeat the same historic blunder of Melez Zenawi in Somalia. Add to this, the military and political quagmire in Tigray Province of Ethiopia and its ramifications of international condemnation for war crimes and human rights violations by Abyi’s invading military with Eritrean help.
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