The impact of the American-Somali rapprochement on Ethiopia 1977-1981


  • Salah Wahib Hanash University of Anbar – College of Arts
  • Mohammed Yahia Ahmed University of Anbar – College of Arts


the rapprochement effect, 1977, Somalia, Ethiopia, the United States, military, economic aid


The research aims to shed light on the impact of rapprochement in the US-Somali relations on Ethiopia in the period between 1977-1981, as the relations were based on strategic military foundations, after the Ethiopian turn towards the Soviet Union in 1977, and its conclusion of huge military agreements with it. The United States sought in Somalia to create a kind of balance in the US military presence in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, which is close to its areas of influence in the Arabian Gulf, and what this region represents of strategic importance to the United States of America, as this rapprochement aroused the ire of Ethiopia and its objection to the threat it poses to its unity And for her security. The beginning of the Somali-American rapprochement was the first meeting between the US ambassador and Somali President Siad Barre in Zanzibar, the capital of Tanzania in 1977, and Somalia seemed disturbed by the Soviet-Ethiopian rapprochement, and Somalia's desire to reduce dependence on the Soviets and head towards the West, specifically towards the United States. The United States of America supported the Somali transformation, and gave the green light to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by offering military and economic aid worth three hundred million dollars to Somalia in exchange for a complete separation from the Soviets, because the United States was monitoring the fluctuations in Ethiopia, because it did not feel the need to abandon Ethiopia in exchange for Somalia. While Somalia sought to obtain assurances from the United States in principle to provide Somalia with military and economic aid, while Somalia was concerned about the ambiguity of the US response. The Ogaden war in 1977 also had an impact on delaying military aid until the war stopped. While the US air, naval and military presence in Somalia became active after 1979, Ethiopia responded to these activities by keeping the Cuban forces at the same levels and expelling them from the US ambassador in Addis Ababa, which increased the tension in the relationship between the two parties.