Timeline: Ethiopia and Somalia
A look back at the troubled relations between Ethiopia and Somalia – made worse in recent years by Ethiopia’s deep distrust of Somalia’s Islamist groups.
19 May 2009
Somali eye-witnesses report that Ethiopia troops are digging into positions near the border, following advances by Islamist fighters. Ethiopia denies the claims.
15 January 2009
Last Ethiopian troops leave Mogadishu.
28 November 2008
Ethiopia announces that its troops will leave by the end of the year.
21 November 2008
Ethiopian troops supposed to start pull-out under peace deal but no sign of withdrawal in Mogadishu. At least 15 people killed in Islamist attack on the capital.
15 November 2008
President Abdullahi Yusuf admits that his Ethiopian-backed government only controls parts of Mogadishu and Baidoa.
26 October 2008
Government and moderate Islamists promise to implement a ceasefire and say Ethiopian troops will start to leave.
Islamists stage frequent attacks on Ethiopian and government forces. Hardliners refuse to take part in peace talks unless Ethiopians agree to leave Somalia.
1 January 2007
Somali government troops, supported by Ethiopian troops, seize the southern port of Kismayo – the last remaining stronghold of the UIC
28 December 2006
Ethiopian-backed government forces capture the capital, Mogadishu, hours after Islamist fighters flee the city.
Ethiopian and Somali government troops take control of Jowhar, a strategic town previously held by the Islamists.
Forces loyal to the transitional government are reported to have taken control of the town of Burhakaba from the UIC. Other areas of southern and central Somalia are also said to have fallen under heavy assault from Somali and Ethiopian troops. Retreating Islamist militias are attacked by Ethiopian jets for a third day.
Ethiopian aircraft bomb Mogadishu airport.
Ethiopia for the first time admits its forces are fighting in Somalia, saying it has launched a “self-defensive” operation against Islamist militiamen. Fighting spreads across a 400km front along the border.
Islamic courts give Ethiopian troops one week to leave Somalia or face a “major attack”.
Islamic courts say they have engaged in battle with Ethiopian troops for the first time – south-west of Baidoa.
Ethiopia’s parliament passes a resolution authorising the government to take all legal and necessary steps against what it terms as any invasion by the UIC.
Eyewitnesses say Islamist fighters ambushed an Ethiopian convoy near Baidoa, blowing up a truck. The UIC claim some 20 Ethiopians died.
The Islamic courts say Ethiopian forces shelled the northern town of Bandiradley and it ambushed an Ethiopian convoy near Baidoa
Ethiopian Prime Minster Meles Zenawi says Ethiopia is “technically at war” with the UIC.
18 September 2006
Somalia’s interim President Abdullahi Yusuf survives an assassination attempt.
The Islamic court leadership orders a “holy war” against Ethiopians in Somalia.
A column of Ethiopian trucks, more than 100-strong and including armoured cars, are seen crossing into Somalia. Ethiopia only admits to having military trainers in the country helping the interim government.
The Islamic courts take control of the Somalia capital, Mogadishu, from rival warlords and go on to gain territory in much of southern territory.
Long-time Ethiopian ally and warlord, Abdullahi Yusuf becomes Somalia’s interim president making Baidoa his base.
Ethiopian forces defeat Islamist fighters in the Somali town of Luuq.
Somalia descends into civil war between rival clan warlords.
Peace accord signed.
1964 and 1977
Two wars fought over Ethiopia’s Somali-inhabited Ogaden region.
© 2009 – 2010, Prof. Muse Tegegne. All rights reserved.