Country Listing

Somalia Table of Contents



From independence until the mid-1980s, Somalia's national security concerns focused largely on the threat posed by its neighbor, Ethiopia. After the Ogaden War, Ethiopia used Soviet, Cuban, and East European military and technical assistance to establish itself as the dominant power in the Horn of Africa. By the mid-1980s, Ethiopia's support of Somali insurgent groups posed a growing threat to Somalia's internal security. In early 1991, Somali-Ethiopian tensions eased as long-established governments fell in both Mogadishu and Addis Ababa. By the spring of 1992, however, it remained unclear whether relations between the two countries would be characterized by cooperation and peace, or if old arguments over the Ogaden's (Ogaadeen) status would renew the hostility between Somalia and Ethiopia.