Wikileaks Cables from Mogadishu: Condoms Not Used in Somalia Invasion

Kassahun Addis

(Part One)

Wait a minute. Is there US embassy in Mogadishu?

The recent leaks are shedding some light on the type and level of US engagement in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia and Eritrea are in the spotlight, following the posting of edited cables from Addis Ababa, Asmara, Nairobi and Doha. The Diaspora-based Ethiopian media and a blog based in Ethiopia were quick to speculate on the content of the leaks as they relate to Ethiopia, and were observed rushing to make analyses of what has so far been availed by the editorial team of Wikileaks. One thing that was, however, missing from most of them is the part relating to Ethiopia’s difficult relations with Somalia and the involvement of the US in those interactions.

The cables contain important hints and pieces of information on what is happening in Somalia and the dynamics of Ethiopia-Somali relations. Broadly speaking, the cables expose areas that had formerly been “black spots” for anyone interested in the study of the Horn of Africa.  Ethiopia’s invasion and occupation of Somalia, the Juba State, and US covert relations with the ONLF in and outside of the Ogaden have all been a mystery for the many Ethiopians keenly interested in the foreign policy of the state. It is natural that a responsible citizen would be concerned about whether the government is serving the best interest of the country in the short and long term. When transparency is completely lacking in the making and execution of foreign policies, and when those policies are drafted and administered by incompetent professionals selected for the job on the basis of loyalty, then one will be even more concerned.

One of the biggest revelations in the cables is the affirmation of the prior-held belief that the US was the driving force behind the mounting of the large-scale invasion of Somalia. So far what was known was that the US participated in that military adventurism only after Ethiopia made the decision to invade, and that their role was limited to sharing satellite images with the Ethiopian military.

According to a cable dated January 31, 2007, The Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, told the Commander of CENTCOM, General John Abizaid, “The Somalia job is fantastic.” The timing is important here. In that very month, Ethiopia was pursuing the forces of the Islamic Courts in Ras Kambon, a relatively forested area in the southern tip of Somalia, just after the U.S. launched an air strike using an AC-130 gunship against suspected Al-Qaeda operatives. What is not reported is that the US had even sent ground Special Forces,, possibly comprised of 40 to 50 soldiers, to the location. However, the US forces failed to find the Al Qaeda operatives that they were looking for and had to be assisted by Ethiopian forces in order to find their way out of the jungle. So when the Crown Prince refers to a job as “fantastic”, he is not referring to the actual US job – which failed. It can only be the whole project of routing out the Islamists. And that was done by Ethiopia. But if that was an Ethiopian-driven or executed project, then the compliment of “fantastic” is to be delivered in front of Ethiopian officials, not to an American general. The logic here is simple. The Americans should take credit because they are the masterminds of the whole Somalia invasion.

Meles once told parliament that Ethiopian forces are not fighting in Somalia using condoms (using USAID money). Well, now we are no longer in as dim a light as we once were before this leak. The US was the driving force and, as such, the financier of the ‘”fantastic” Somalia job. Yet lying to representatives of the peoples is not crime in Ethiopia, at least when it is the Premier who is lying.

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16 Responses to “Wikileaks Cables from Mogadishu: Condoms Not Used in Somalia Invasion”

  1. In 2006 Meles told the Ethiopian Parliament that he was sending his troops to Somalia at the request of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. This year we heard him say he will not resend his army even if the TFG is endangered by the Al Shabab. That tells a lot

  2. really?the so called intellectuals you come to this conclusion ….meles beat you in all fields…what you got is nothing but gossip filled by haters…….wake up! its laughable


    are we supposed to guess the black dotted marks as u suggested?

    Article is re-phrased but exact copy of propaganda released from Shabiya camp.
    We are starving for news that is not based on Shabiy’s guidlines.

    Somalia was up for grab by anyone…just like the old times how we acuire our southern regions during Minilik.
    We even had traitors who oppose Ethiopias grab of the southern part of current Ethiopia.

    Prior to Ethiopia put an end to their mingling…

    -Alqueda was fishing in somalia
    -Extreme Islams were fishing in somalia
    -Shabiya was enjoying the foreign currency market, Sales of arms and all sorts of money laundering and looting in somalia.

    THAT MAKES IT ETHIOPIA’S INTEREST AUTOMATICALLY!!! Here everyone with interest can pitch-in to accomodate the a successful journey.

  4. ye ferd ken yimetal 15 December 2010 at 5:48 am

    Timly article and well argued. Keep on the good job kasish. Dumb ass commentors, be wiha tebetbito kaltetachu endet naw yemigebachu. I follow your facebook posts and how you destroy the propoganda of Weyane-agame imposters Dasniel and Samuel. You go to their nerves. ANO must consider publishing your destruction of their posts with well argued reasons.

  5. Who poses more threat Al shebab or the court of Islamic union? Among scores of reasons, Ethiopia reasoned its invasion of Somalia saying Courts of Islamic Union had posed ‘clear and present danger’. The reasoning is phony and divergent to the transpired real truth. But are we naively expecting the PM to say ‘America hired us to fight for it in Somalia so allow us to go there?” More than the invasion of Ethiopia, it shows the brutality and shrewdness of USA. “kill them if whatever is in the interest of us” is their international relation policy. No humanity at all. “human rights, peace prize, freedom of information and so on are just simple rhetoric which, when it comes to them, they not are up to snuff. I am not saying what Ethiopia is doing in Somalia is good. But I am saying it is the manifestation of the post-colonial period we are living in. I blame the whites for the failure of Africans in democracy, human rights, freedom and so on.

  6. All flawn and unsubstanciated claim!No one could find wherever to support your claim,peple!I see Kassahun is another name for Al-Mariam.Hulum sidemer “nech wushet” arat netb!!

    • My friend, I have heard Meles say “arat netib” several times. And I always wonder why? I finally realized that he uses the phrase “atat netib” every time he runs short of sound arguments.

  7. Name (required) 15 December 2010 at 9:56 pm

    I agree that this neo/call it post colonial period and the danger it poses to the African People. What the bloody whited doing is now searching and researchin to find out indigenous people (Banda) who will accomplish their objective of neo/post colonialism. They have identified leaders and gave and (continue to do so) training to fulfill the whotes goals on African lands. The trained leaders as a result kills their own people with the financila and military support of the europeans and Americans in particular ( arabs can also take part but in a contrasting goals). So, We really need to resist this evil deeds by uniting.
    Look at what they are doing in Ethiopia now- their hired people (banda) like meles is used by the whites to apply completely wrong policies and rule inapproriately-using all forces purchased from USA/EU. When time comes it is easy for them to do what they want. LEt us all stand uptogether to resist this evil/hidden colonialists agenda

  8. The USA and EU are destroying Africa but the primary casue for the destruction is greed of our leaders who have been trained by the CIA and soon to accomplish the goals of Neo/post colonialism. As we can see in most Africa countries today, leaders are well trained by the Whites/ financed by themm to rule their people under opression/brutuality- Neo colonialism/post colonialsis is worse and have hidden agenda/evil deeds. We need to stand together to resist their evil deeds to save Africa. Thisn is rneally high time

  9. Based on the info there is nothing to call fantastic. If they didn’t
    do any thing, what makes it fantastic? or are they just feeding
    our cureocity? ended we are curious.

    For conversation sake ?

  10. Lucy in America 16 December 2010 at 1:28 am

    America invaded somalia in 1991 arrogantly and agressively. the somalians gave more kicks at USA’s back sides and sent them back to their hidding place . after 20 years America has sent it’s agent back to somalia .somalians gave morekicks at weyane’s ass and sent them back. NowAmerica is calculating whatto do next.If weyanes succeeded in their invasion ,America’s plane was to put one puppet in somalia and controllthe area and the un touched somalians natural resources. But they failed again and again. USA will share equally the crimes which are being committed by adwa’s thugs.

  11. If it is true that Meles sent Ethiopian troops to Somalia to accomplish an American mission, then it is no different than mercenariness. Trading the life of Ethiopians for un-Ethiopian case is no different than pimping. Next to the Algiers agreement, this is the greatest blunder committed by Zenawi’s government. But why should it matter, we are his captives and his war spoils, Meles can do whatever he wishes with us. That is how it is in the past 20 years, and probably continue so in the near future.

  12. It is funny story. Kassahun tries to convince us that the war in Somalia was not waged at the interest of Ethipopia, rather was a mission given by USA. But he still failed to provide a single evidence. That’s why he is refering gossips and sily conversations. As far as the Wikileaks is concerned, so far it shows how Ethiopia and the prime minister are so consistent in their foreign policy and the war in Somalia. It doesn’t give any clue that Ethiopia was involved in the war because of USA, that’s why Almariam, abiye and Kassahun are making stories on it. It seems they are so hurted as they were expecting something differen. Honestly is it such difficult to understand the interest of Ethiopia over Somalia? atleast interms of security and border issues if Alshabab, supported by Egypt and Eritrea, come to power? Which country do you think can have more issues with Somalia than Ethiopia ? Please some times try to tell the TRUTH. You have many other issues to misinform us. THANKS

    • You are making a fool out of yourself by hastily concluding about the wikileak info. So far only 2 out of 1395 calbes is released. Remeber that the release focus on cables of international signficance. I expect there will be more harsh and dazzling information with regard to issue of national signficance.

  13. ABD

    Additional to what you said, isn’t it funny that the somalia issue is left unresolved? and add to that they are supported (al-shabab)
    by Eritiria. like they say all rod’s lead to Rome, this whole thing points to Egypt. And when you said which country do you think can have more issues with Somalia than Ethiopia?”, that is if we have Ethiopia that is imeun or that wears a condom on Egypt.

  14. Thanks! Your analyses enlighten us some of the hidden issues in our country.

    Fellow readers, where else did you hear that foreign donations to NGOs is illegal ? Please, read what another wacko president in Venzuela has proposed –,8599,2039518,00.html

    Also, have you noticed the recent election results in Egypt? Zenawism has spread across the continent. ( well, that’s bad !)

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