Status Quo Side: Ethiopia-Kenya
Non-Status Quo Side: Somalia
Conflict Type: Interstate
Issues in Dispute: Ethnic, Resources, Territory
Prior to Somalian independence in July 1960 France and Italy, the powers administering territories inhabited by Somalis, failed to agree on fixed borders. Nomadic Somali tribesmen traditionally disregarded political boundaries. The constitution of the Somali Republic proclaimed the goal of a Greater Somalia.
After independence, clashes between Ethiopian border guards and Somali tribesmen led to mutual border reinforcement. Somalia later encouraged secessionist moves in the Northern Frontier District (NFD) of Kenya prior to the latter's independence. Somalia broke relations with Britain when the latter decided to retain the NFD within Kenya, and signed agreements with the CPR to replace British trade, and with the Soviet Union for arms. The African Heads of State did not support the Somalian case, and thirteen days after its independence in December 1963 Kenya declared a state of emergency.
Fighting broke out as Somalia accused Ethiopia of destroying border posts, charged armed aggression, declared a state of emergency and unsuccessfully sought UNSC and OAU emergency sessions. After appeals by the USSR, the US and the OAU, negotiations began in March.
A cease-fire took effect. Under the supervision of a joint Ethiopian-Somalian Commission, troops withdrew from the border zone. Sporadic clashes with Somali tribesmen continued in Kenya and Ethiopia. Somalia remained committed to the goal of a Greater Somalia [see OGA].
Copyright © 1999 Lincoln P. Bloomfield and Allen Moulton