Somalia-Ethiopia tension revives memories of 1977

State media in Somalia have recently been broadcasting what some have described as an “incitement” song performed by the Somali police band.

It revives historical feelings of enmity towards Ethiopia in light of the controversial 1 January deal the country struck with the self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland.

The lyrics relate to a territorial war fought nearly 50 years ago – in 1977 – between Ethiopia and Somalia.

“If you don’t want peace, we will give you a chance to remember what we did to you in 1977,” says the song.

In that conflict, Somali soldiers went deep inside Ethiopia, capturing a huge swathe of the country before being beaten back by a better equipped Ethiopian army.

Both sides claim victory.

The song, called Remember What We Did to You in 1977, plus two others also relating to Ethiopia, have been widely shared across social media by Somalis.

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991, but this has not been recognised internationally.

The deal, which could see Somaliland leasing part of the coastline to Ethiopia, has caused profound offence in Somalia which sees this as Ethiopia as trying to take part of its sovereign territory.

Recently, Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the country’s prime minister have publicly said that their ancestors have fought Ethiopia for many generations and defended their country, and they are obliged to do the same.

’The person who is dividing our people is an enemy, they deserve resistance, we used to fight with them for generations, we’re the same people, we haven’t changed,” President Mohamud said.

The country’s leadership has also described Ethiopia as a threat to its national security.

Source: BBC

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