HomeArticles Posted by addisstandard (Page 815)

Author: addisstandard

Dear Editor,

Please allow me to commend you on your courageous expedition to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, a country we in Ethiopia in particular and the whole world in general think is a wasted land. Your cover story (Somalia: the failed state no more, May 2013) asked a critical question on why Ethiopia was not a part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Apart from what the unnamed diplomat from the AU said in your article, “in order to maintain its own military strategic interest in Somalia, “‘which may not necessarily be in tandem with the strategic interest of AMISOM’”, historically, Ethiopia has had a different and often intense relationship with Somalia than it does with the rest of its neighbors. This relationship compels Ethiopia to maintain a specific strategic interest and presence, which will not be curtails under AMISOM’s rules of engagement, which will diminish Ethiopia’s military engagement in dealing with some of the eminent threats emanating from Al-Qaida linked militant groups operating within Somalia, such as the Al-Shabab. However, this doesn’t make Ethiopia’s decision politically wrong. If you look at Kenya, for example, it decided to join the AMISOM only after it secured its national interest in the port city of Kismayo and elsewhere.

 Colonel Salif Mustafa

Former member of the AMISOM 

Addis Ababa


Habibi, 17, is an internally displaced Somali girl living with her 12 siblings and other relatives in a small shack inside a makeshift camp located not far from the Mogadishu Airport.  She is the second generation living as a refugee. Her mother was a refugee who was first displaced in the civil war that followed the ousting in 1991 of the then president Mohamed Siad Barre. Despite her miserable situation, Habibi regularly applies Kessil , a traditional herb mixed with olive oil that keeps a lady’s skin glowing. Beauty knows no misery!!