December 6, 2010 (ADDIS ABABA) — A US diplomatic cable published by the Wikileaks whistle-blowing organisation has exposed that Ethiopia and the US government had secret agreement to invade Somalia.
- Ethiopian soldiers (AFP)
However, the report indicated that Ethiopia had no intention to the invasion and said the US was behind the plot and was sponsored by the United States government.
Already tied up wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. had no position to openly launch large-scale attack against Somalia and had to sponsor a country like Ethiopia.
Ethiopian troops invaded Somalian territory on July 20, 2006 aimed to squash an Islamist group, Union of Islamic Courts (UIC). Ethiopia maintained it was providing military assistance to the weak transitional government. Ethiopia then argued that the islamists extremists were threat to regional peace and stability.
U.S. head for African affairs Jendayi Frazer was said the spearhead of the proxy war along allies in the State Department and the Pentagon.
There was growing concern in the White House and the Pentagon that Somalia’s Islamists might ally themselves with Al Qaeda and turn to international terrorism.
Reports say an estimated 20,000 Somalis were killed and over 2 million were made homeless as a result of the US backed war in Somalia.
The leaked diplomatic dispatch has also reported on talks between Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and US under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero on issues of Democracy, civil rights, election, climate change among others.
Meles said his country’s inability to develop a strong democracy was not due to insufficient understanding of democratic principles, but rather because Ethiopians had not internalized those principles.
Referencing his own struggle against the Derg regime, Meles said he and his compatriots received no foreign funding, but were willing to sacrifice and die for their cause, and Ethiopians today must take ownership of their democratic development, be willing to sacrifice for it, and defend their own rights.
Despite pushes from under Secretary Maria Otero and Assistant Secretary Carson to hasten steps to liberalize the telecommunications and banking industries of the country, the Ethiopian premier however made no Promises on this regard instead said he would be happy to discuss the issue in the future joking that Americans’ concept of time was much faster than Ethiopians’.
As reported in WikiLeaks’ the Ethiopian leader was also urged to back Copenhagen climate accord.
"Otero urged Meles to sign the Copenhagen accord on climate change and explained that it is a point of departure for further discussion and movement forward on the topic.’’
She noted that while the agreement has its limitations, it has the international community moving in the right direction.
However, he expressed his disappointment that despite President Obama’s personal assurance to him that finances committed in Copenhagen would be made available, he had received word from contacts at the UN that the U.S. was not supportive of Ethiopia’s proposal for a panel to monitor financial pledges regarding climate change. Ms. Gavin assured the Prime Minister that she would look into his concerns.