The attacking for… While the army of Ras Nasibu disintegrated, it was not destroyed. [1], Italian success came at the cost of heavy casualties. Abdullahi Geelqaad commanded Dirir-Dewa. [68] The last significant Somali unit left Ethiopia on 15 March 1978, marking the end of the war. He was released after the collapse of the Mengistu regime in 1991), Col. Abdullahi Ahmed Irro commanded SNA on the Godey Front. On 3 July 2007, an ONLF ambush outside the town of Shilaabo resulted in the deaths of 43 soldiers, the separatists suffered 5 casualties and 8 rebels were injured. [36] Britain included the provision that the Somali residents would retain their autonomy, but Ethiopia immediately claimed sovereignty over the area. [56][57][58], The Somali National Army committed to invade the Ogaden on July 12, 1977, according to Ethiopian Ministry of National Defense documents (some other sources state July 13 or 23 July). War ensued, involving tens of thousands of casualties until Ethiopia invaded part of southwestern Eritrea in June 2000. [39], British Somaliland became independent on 26 June 1960 as the State of Somaliland and the Trust Territory of Somalia (the former Italian Somaliland) followed suit five days later. Graziani's only resistance on his march to Jijiga and Harar was the never ending rain. [59][60], According to Ethiopian sources, the invaders numbered 70,000 troops, 40 fighter planes, 250 tanks, 350 APCs, and 600 artillery, which would have meant practically the whole Somali Army. [66] A column of Ethiopian and Cuban troops crossed northeast into the highlands between Jijiga and the border with Somalia, bypassing the SNA-WSLF force defending the Marda Pass. The referendum turned out in favour of a continued association with France, largely due to a combined yes vote by the sizable Afar ethnic group and resident Europeans. Ogaden War Ogaden War, Somali victories and siege of Harar (September–January), Ethiopian-Cuban counter-attack (February–March), Archived 2016-12-26 at the, Evil Days: Thirty Years of War and Famine in Ethiopia, CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link), International Journal of African Historical Studies, വിജ്ഞാന സമ്പദ്‍വ്യവസ്ഥ അഥവാ വിജ്ഞാനാധിഷ്ഠിത സമ്പദ്‍വ്യവസ്ഥ, 11th Secretariat of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, 11th Politburo of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, List of cemeteries in Sonoma County, California. Castro's plan didn't get any support and two months later Somali forces attacked the Ethiopians. Soviet General Vasily Petrov had to report back to Moscow the "sorry state" of the Ethiopian Army. [6] Anthony Mockler does not express the same opinion of Wehib Pasha's defenses. The Soviet Union disapproved of the invasion and ceased its support of Somalia, instead starting to support Ethiopia. On 3 October 1935, General Rodolfo Graziani advanced into Ethiopia from Italian Somaliland. (male, 14/03/2011), for example, insisted that the Ogaden war was much more lethal than the Eritrean war of independence, and an elderly anonymous lady (17/02/2011) could not understand the level of attention South Sudan receives, for she sees this as ‘a much younger conflict with far fewer casualties’. [61], The USSR, finding itself supplying both sides of a war, attempted to mediate a ceasefire. Col. Abukar Liban 'Aftooje' Initially served as acting logistics coordinator for the Southern Command and later commanded the SNA on the Iimeey Front. The Ogaden National Liberation Front (abbreviated ONLF, Somali: Jabhadda Wadaniga Xoreynta Ogaadeenya; Arabic: الجبهة الوطنية لتحرير أوغادين‎) is a separatist rebel group fighting for the right to self-determination for Somalis in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. (Later became Minister of Tourism. From October 1977 until January 1978, the SNA-WSLF forces attempted to capture Harar during the Battle of Harar, where 40,000 Ethiopians had regrouped and re-armed with Soviet-supplied artillery and armor; backed by 1,500 Soviet advisors and 16,000 Cuban soldiers, they engaged the attackers in vicious fighting. In 1977 Ethiopia and Somalia engaged in a brief territory conflict over the Ogaden region situated between and claimed by both nations. (Eventually joined the SNM late 1988), Col. Farah Handulle commanded SNA on the Warder Front. Published prior to 2013 | Updated: 2016-04-08 00:19:19. He describes them as "half-prepared trenches and gun-sites," manned by two battalions of the Imperial Bodyguard who had fled before the Italians six months before. In September 1974, Emperor Haile Selassie had been overthrown by the Derg (the military council), marking a period of turmoil. In addition, the WSLF and SALF were significantly weakened after the Ogaden War. [31][32] British Somaliland remained a protectorate of Britain until 1960. During that time, the Ethiopian government managed to raise and train a giant militia force 100,000 strong and integrated it into the regular fighting force. [3], On 31 March, the last Ethiopian army on the northern front was destroyed during the Battle of Maychew. One observer of the Ogaden War summed up the antagonists best, stating that Somali soldiers and Ethiopian pilots would make the best armed forces in Africa. Her losses included over 6,000 killed, and about 400 Cubans and 100 South Yemenis also died. Last edited on 23 December 2020, at 01:30, attacked the Italians along the whole front, Ethiopian Order of Battle Second Italo-Abyssinian War, Italian Order of Battle Second Italo-Abyssinian War,, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 23 December 2020, at 01:30. The attacking forces did suffer some early setbacks; Ethiopian defenders at Dire Dawa and Jijiga inflicted heavy casualties on assaulting forces. [12], It was not until 25 April that the Italians were able to overcome the Ethiopian resistance. The coup was spearheaded by Major General Mohamed Siad Barre, who at the time commanded the army. It was fought by separatists, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), against the Ethiopian government. However, against the weight of the Italian firepower, the Ethiopians could make little progress. The Ogaden: a forgotten war draining a forgotten people Fears of famine are rising in the country's troubled and barren eastern badlands A boy takes care of a … In 1950, as a result of the Paris Peace Treaties, the United Nations granted Italy trusteeship of Italian Somaliland, but only under close supervision and on the condition—first proposed by the Somali Youth League (SYL) and other nascent Somali political organizations, such as Hizbia Digil Mirifle Somali (HDMS) and the Somali National League (SNL)—that Somalia achieve independence within ten years. The Ogaden… Death has become an increasingly accepted fact, and in Ethiopia they are reserving graves for people who have not yet been killed. Ethiopia was saved from a major defeat and a permanent loss of territory through a massive airlift of military supplies worth $1 billion, the arrival of between 12,000–24,000 Cuban troops sent by Fidel Castro to win a second African victory (after his first success in Angola in 1975–76),[23] and 1,500 Soviet advisors, led by General Vasily Petrov. All aid to Siad Barre's regime was halted, while arms shipments to Ethiopia were increased. Mohamad A. [8], Graziani deployed an army of 38,000 men, which included 15,600 Italians. Even so, the fighting was fierce and surged back and forth. [39] There was also widespread vote rigging, with the French expelling thousands of Somalis before the referendum reached the polls. (Retired and became a Professor of Strategy in Mogadishu Somalia), Col. Ali Hussein commanded SNA in two front's, Qabri Dahare and Harar. The Ogaden War was a conventional conflict between Somalia and Ethiopia in … Ogaden War; Part of the Ethiopian–Somali conflict and the Cold War: Cuban artillerymen prepare to fire at Somali forces in the Ogaden: Date: July 13, 1977 – March 23, 1978 (8 months and 2 days) Location: Ogaden, Ethiopia. The Somalis took a terrible beating from Cuban artillery and aerial assaults.[67]. According to A. J. Barker, he had "made brilliant use of the ground and exploited to the fullest the military engineering techniques of the day". The local defenders were no match for the assaulting Somalis and the Ethiopian military was forced to withdraw past the strategic strongpoint of the Marda Pass, halfway between Jijiga and Harar. The failure of the war aggravated discontent with the Barre regime; the first organized opposition group, the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), was formed by army officers in 1979. The greatest single victory of the SNA-WSLF was a second assault on Jijiga in mid-September (the Battle of Jijiga), in which the demoralized Ethiopian troops withdrew from the town. While the Ethiopians themselves had over 5,000 casualties, the disparity was much less than was typical. In just one day, Marshal of Italy Pietro Badoglio routed an army personally commanded by Emperor Haile Selassie I. In roughly ten days of fighting, the Italians suffered over 2,000 casualties. [40] The majority of those who voted no were Somalis who were strongly in favour of joining a united Somalia, as had been proposed by Mahmoud Harbi, Vice President of the Government Council. In June 1977, Mengistu accused Somalia of infiltrating SNA soldiers into the Somali area to fight alongside the WSLF. ( Galaal became Minister of Public Works and Leading member of the ruling Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party), Col. Abdulrahman Aare and Col. Ali Ismail co-commanded the Degeh-Bur Front. What followed was a lop-sided slaughter known as the Battle of Genale Doria. [50] He and his frontline deputies faced off against their mentor and former Frunze alumnus, General Vasily Ivanovich Petrov, who was assigned by the USSR to advise the Ethiopian Army, in addition to 15,000 Cuban troops supporting Ethiopia,[52] led by General Arnaldo Ochoa. Despite considerable evidence to the contrary, Barre strongly denied this, saying SNA "volunteers" were being allowed to help the WSLF. On 2 May, the Emperor left Addis Ababa to go into exile. By 23 March 1978, the Ethiopians and Cubans had recaptured more than two-thirds of the Ogaden, marking the official end of the war. The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) (Amharic: ኦጋዴን፡ብሔራዊ፡ነፃነት፡ግንባር? Ogaden War. Casualties among the Somalis may have totaled as many as 40,000 since the start of the war. While the Ethiopians themselves had over 5,000 casualties, the disparity was much less than was typical. The war began in 1994, when the ONLF attempted to recreate Greater Somalia by unifying Ethiopia's Somali Region with Somalia.It ended in a peace agreement as part of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's reforms. The Insurgency in Ogaden was an armed conflict that took place from 1994 to 2018. [53] General Samatar was assisted in the offensive by several field commanders, most of whom were also Frunze graduates:[54], General Yussuf Salhan commanded SNA on the Jijiga Front assisted by Col. A. Naji, capturing the area on August 30, 1977. [44], On 15 October 1969, while paying a visit to the northern town of Las Anod, Somalia's then President Shermarke was shot dead by one of his own bodyguards. In roughly ten days of fighting, the Italians suffered over 2,000 casualties. [citation needed], Under the leadership of General Mohamed Ali Samatar, Irro and other senior Somali military officials were mandated in 1977 with formulating a national strategy in preparation for the Ogaden campaign in Ethiopia. On 14 April, Graziani ordered his entire army to advance towards the Ethiopian defensive lines in a three-pronged attack. Because of the Sino-Soviet rivalry, China supported Somalia diplomatically and with token military aid. [2], Late in the year, Ras Desta Damtew started preparations to launch an offensive with his army of approximately 40,000 men. Kediye officially held the title of "Father of the Revolution", and Barre shortly afterwards became the head of the SRC. "‘How to grab the Soviet Union by the Horns? But, according to Baer, Graziani had approximately 30,000 men. Harbi was killed in a plane crash two years later. Between 12 January and 20 January 1936, Ras Desta's army was completely decimated by the Italian Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica). Ethiopia closed the U.S. military mission and the communications centre in April 1977. All of these conditions led to a revolt in the army which eventually spiraled into a civil war. On the northern front, the usual ratio between Ethiopian and Italian casualties was ten to one.[12]. Years: 1977-1978. [50] This was part of a broader effort to unite all of the Somali-inhabited territories in the Horn region into a Greater Somalia (Soomaaliweyn). The battle was primarily fought to the south of Harar and Jijiga. Meanwhile, various anti-Derg as well as separatist movements began throughout the country. By the end of the month 60% of the Ogaden had been taken by the SNA-WSLF force, including Gode, on the Shabelle River. [25] The Ethiopians and Cubans (using 300 tanks, 156 pieces of artillery, and 46 combat aircraft)[19] prevailed at Harar, Dire Dawa and Jijiga, and began to push the Somalis systematically out of the Ogaden. The architect of the Ethiopian version was Wehib Pasha, who had been a general in the army of the Ottoman Empire, and was serving as Ras Nasibu's Chief-of-Staff for the southern front. [23], The expected Ethiopian-Cuban attack occurred in early February; however, it was accompanied by a second attack that the Somalis did not expect. [51], A distinguished graduate of the Soviet Frunze Military Academy, Samantar oversaw Somalia's military strategy. Some 160 Ethiopians were executed in the early stages of the war. According to Ethiopian sources, the invaders numbered 70,000 troops, 40 fighter planes, 250 tanks, 350 APCs, and 600 artillery, which would have meant practically the whole Somali Army. However, the Somalis were unable to press their advantage because of the high attrition on its tank battalions, constant Ethiopian air attacks on their supply lines, and the onset of the rainy season which made the dirt roads unusable. For the Barre regime, the invasion was perhaps the greatest strategic blunder since independence,[70] and it weakened the military. (Both Officers were lLater chosen to reinforce the Harar campaign; Col Aare eventually became a military attache and retired as a private citizen after the collapse of SNA in 1990). [13], In the end, Graziani finally reached Harar on 8 May.[14]. [7] Still, David Nicole writes: "The only real fortified positions [in Ethiopia] were those built by Ras Nasibu's forces under General Mehmet Wehib's (also known as Wehib Pasha) direction near Sassabaneh, southeast of Harar". A sign that order had been restored among the Derg was the announcement of Mengistu Haile Mariam as head of state on February 11, 1977. The Somali National Army committed to invade the Ogaden on July 12, 1977, according to Ethiopian Ministry of National Defense documents (some other sources state July 13 or 23 July). But it may have been the overcast skies more than a change of heart on Graziani's part that saved the withdrawing Ethiopians from the Italian Royal Air Force. The Ogaden War 1977-1978. Not only was the country's second largest military airbase located here, as well as Ethiopia's crossroads into the Ogaden, but Ethiopia's rail lifeline to the Red Sea ran through this city, and if the Somalis held Dire Dawa, Ethiopia would be unable to export its crops or bring in equipment needed to continue the fight. [64] The fighting was vicious as both sides knew what the stakes were, but after two days, despite that the Somalis had gained possession of the airport at one point, the Ethiopians had repulsed the assault, forcing the Somalis to withdraw. The Somali army was equipped entirely by the Soviets and trained by Soviet and Cuban advisors. The biggest obstacle to the Italian advance was heavy rain, swollen rivers, and thick mud. His assassination was quickly followed by a military coup d'état on 21 October 1969 (the day after his funeral), in which the Somali Army seized power without encountering armed opposition—essentially a bloodless takeover. When their efforts failed, the Soviets abandoned Somalia. The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) (Amharic: ኦጋዴን፡ብሔራዊ፡ነፃነት፡ግንባር? The Derg quickly fell into internal conflict to determine who would have primacy. The Ogaden War, or the Ethio-Somali war (Somali: Dagaalkii Xoraynta Soomaali Galbeed), was a Somali military offensive between July 1977 and March 1978 over the disputed Ethiopian region of Ogaden, which began with the Somali invasion of Ethiopia.The Soviet Union disapproved of the invasion and ceased its support of Somalia, instead starting to support Ethiopia. The Soviet Union disapproved of the invasion and ceased its support of Somalia, instead starting to support Ethiopia. Cuban military intervention; By November, after additional modest gains and a brief period of Italian inactivity, the initiative on the southern front went over to the Ethiopians. Salhan was eventually expelled from the Somali Socialist Party in 1985), Col. Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed commanded SNA on the Negellie Front. Col Ahmed was arrested by Ethiopia's Mengistu. In the late 1970s, Samatar was the Chief Commanding Officer of the Somali National Army during the Ogaden Campaign. Not all communist states sided with Ethiopia. He had decided to fight a "colonial war" with primarily colonial troops. The Ogaden War, or the Ethio-Somali war (Somali: Dagaalkii Xoraynta Soomaali Galbeed), was a Somali military offensive between July 1977 and March 1978 over the disputed Ethiopian region of Ogaden, which began with the Somali invasion of Ethiopia. Despite the violence, the Soviet Union, which had been closely observing developments, came to believe that Ethiopia was developing into a genuine Marxist–Leninist state and that it was in Soviet interests to aid the new regime. [46] The SRC subsequently renamed the country the Somali Democratic Republic,[47][48] dissolved the parliament and the Supreme Court, and suspended the constitution. [41] On 1 July 1960, the two territories united to form the Somali Republic. Even though elements of the ONLF would later manage to slip back into the Ogaden, their actions had little impact.[69]. Gebre Tareke estimates the Somalis advanced with two motorized brigades, one tank battalion and one BM battery upon the city; against them were the Ethiopian Second Militia Division, the 201 Nebelbal battalion, 781 battalion of the 78th Brigade, the 4th Mechanized Company, and a tank platoon possessing two tanks. Other communist countries offered assistance: the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen offered military assistance and North Korea helped train a "People's Militia";[citation needed] East Germany likewise offered training, engineering and support troops. Estimated deaths Korean War 1950-1953 2,950,000 Rwanda and Burundi Civil Wars 1959-1995 1,150,000 Indochina 1960-1975 1,900,000 Ethiopian (Ogaden and Eritrean) 1962-1992 250,000 Nigerian Civil War 1966-1970 2,000,000 Bangladesh War of Independence 1971 1,500,000 On 3 May, about one third of the officers on the southern front followed his example. By May 1980, the rebels, with the assistance of a small number of SNA soldiers who continued to help the guerrilla war, controlled a substantial region of the Ogaden. A second armed clash in 1988 was resolved when the two countries agreed to withdraw their militaries from the border. According to a Time Magazine of the period, the "Turkish General (retired)" fancied himself as "the Hero of Gallipoli" after his exploits in that campaign. On 23 January 1978, Cuban armored brigades inflicted the worst losses the Somali forces had ever taken in a single action since the start of the war. Soviet Mil Mi-6 and Mil Mi-8 helicopters airlifted a Cuban battalion behind enemy lines. A United Nations peacekeeping force arrived in 2002 but disbanded in 2008 despite continuing tension [ 44 ] and the border remained inaccessible and tense through 2020, even after the two countries reached a peace agreement in 2018. Believing that Badoglio would not share the laurels of victory with him, Graziani decided to launch an offensive in the south against Ras Nasibu's army. [19] The Somali defense collapsed and every major Somali-occupied town was recaptured in the following weeks. Cuba, supported by troops from the USSR and South Yemen, sided with Ethiopia. The Battle of the Ogaden was fought in 1936 in the southern front of the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. WSLF had control of most of the Ogaden, the first time since the Second World War that all Somalia was united with the exception of the NFD region in Kenya. (Later the leader of SSDF rebel group based in Ethiopia. The first column, commanded by General Guglielmo Nasi and including the Libyan Division, on the Italian right was to break through the defenses at Janogoto and Dagahamodo threaten the Ethiopian left. (Became a civilian administrator and Governor of Sanaag, later killed in Hargheisa as the new appointed Governor of Hargheisa in 1987 one day before he took over the Governorship), General Mohamed Nur Galaal assisted by Col.Mohamud Sh. This plan was not only ill-conceived and overly ambitious, it was the subject of talk at every market place. Result: Ethiopian victory. On 20 July 1961, through a popular referendum, the people of Somalia ratified a new constitution that had been first drafted the previous year. Deaths Are Put at 60,000 Since the Somali pullout, it is said, there have been 60,000 deaths in Ogaden, including 25,000 civilians and 6,000 Cuban soldiers supporting the Ethiopians. The line was a series of entrenched positions known as the "Hindenburg Wall" in deference to the famous German defensive line of World War I, the "Hindenburg Line".