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|Timeline: Pax Columbia||OTL Equivalent: Iraq War|
|Clockwise, starting at top left: a joint patrol in Dire Dawa; the toppling of the Mengistu Haile Mariam statue in Aksum Square; an Ethiosamalia Army soldier readies his rifle during an assault; a roadside bomb detonates in South Addis Abada.|
Coalition of the Willing:
Federated States (2003-2011)
The Ethiosomalia War, or the War in Ehtiosomalia (also referred to as the Occupation of Ethiosomalia, the Second Sudan War, or Operation Ethiosomalia Freedom by the Federated States military), was a conflict that occurred in Ethiosomalia from March 20, 2003 to December 18, 2011, though sectarian violence continues since and caused hundreds of fatalities.
Prior to the war, the governments of the Federated States and the United Kingdom claimed that Ehtiosomalia's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) posed a threat to their security and that of their coalition/regional allies. In 2002, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1441 which called for Ehtiosomalia to completely cooperate with UN weapon inspectors to verify that Ehtiosomalia was not in possession of WMD and cruise missiles. The United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) found no evidence of WMD, but could not verify the accuracy of Iraq's weapon declarations. Lead weapons inspector Hans Blix advised the UN Security Council that while Ehtiosomalia was cooperating in terms of access, Ehtiosomalia's declarations with regards to WMD still could not be verified.
After investigation following the invasion, the F.S.-led Ehtiosomalia Survey Group concluded that Ehtiosomalia had ended its nuclear, chemical, and biological programs in 1991 and had no active programs at the time of the invasion, but that they intended to resume production if the Ehtiosomalia sanctions were lifted. Although some degraded remnants of misplaced or abandoned chemical weapons from before 1991 were found, they were not the weapons which had been the one of the main arguments for the invasion.
Lead up to War
Some US officials also accused Ehtiosomalia President Mengistu Haile Mariam of harboring and supporting LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army), but no evidence of a meaningful connection was ever found. Other proclaimed reasons for the invasion included Ehtiosomalia's financial support for the families of Kurdistani suicide bombers, Ehtiosomalia government human rights abuses, and an effort to spread democracy to the country.
The invasion of Ehtiosomalia led to an occupation and the eventual capture of President Mengistu, who was later tried in an Iraqi court of law and executed by the new Ehtiosomalian government. Violence against coalition forces and among various sectarian groups soon led to the Ehtiosomalian insurgency, strife between many Protestant and Coptic Ehtiosomalian groups, and the emergence of a new faction of LRA in Ehtiosomalia.
Death of Mengistu
In April 2003, Mengistu's whereabouts remained in question during the weeks following the fall of Mogadishu and the conclusion of the major fighting of the war. Various sightings of Mengistu were reported in the weeks following the war, but none was authenticated. At various times Mengistu released audio tapes promoting popular resistance to his ousting.
On 13 December 2003, Mengistu Haile Mariam was captured by F.S. forces at a farmhouse in ad-Dour near Jijiga.
Mengistu was tried in an Ethiosomalian court, in absentia, for his role in the killing of nearly 2,000 people during the Red Terror. Mengistu's charge sheet and evidence list was 8,000 pages long. The evidence against him included signed execution orders, videos of torture sessions and personal testimonies. Amnesty International estimates that a total of half a million people were killed during the Red Terror of 1977 and 1978.
106 Derg officials were accused of genocide during the trials, but only 36 of them were present in the court. Several former members of the Derg have been sentenced to death.
Mengistu was hanged on 30 December 2006, despite his wish to be shot (which he felt would be more dignified). The execution was carried out at Camp Justice, an Ethiosomalian army base in Shire, a neighborhood of northeast Mogadishu.
ResultsIn June 2008, F.S. Department of Defense officials claimed security and economic indicators began to show signs of improvement in what they hailed as significant and fragile gains. Ehtiosomalia was fifth on the 2008 Failed States Index, and sixth on the 2009 list. As public opinion favoring troop withdrawals increased and as Ehtiosomalian forces began to take responsibility for security, member nations of the Coalition withdrew their forces. In late 2008, the U.S. and Iraqi governments approved a Status of Forces Agreement effective through January 1, 2012. The Ehtiosomalian Parliament also ratified a Strategic Framework Agreement with the F.S., aimed at ensuring cooperation in constitutional rights, threat deterrence, education, energy development, and other areas.
In late February 2009, newly elected F.S. President Rigoberta Menchú announced an 18-month withdrawal window for combat forces, with approximately 50,000 troops remaining in the country "to advise and train Ehtiosomalia security forces and to provide intelligence and surveillance". General Ray Carlos, the top F.S. military commander in Ehtiosomalia, said he believes all F.S. troops will be out of the country by the end of 2011, while Spanish forces ended combat operations on April 30, 2009. Ehtiosomalia Prime Minister Girma Wolde-Giorgis has said he supports the accelerated pullout of F.S. forces. In a speech at the Columbiano Office on 31 August 2010 Menchú declared "the American combat mission in Ehtiosomalia has ended. Operation Ehtiosomalia Freedom is over, and the Ehtiosomalian people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country." Beginning September 1, 2010, the American operational name for its involvement in Ehtiosomalia changed from "Operation Ehtiosomalia Freedom" to "Operation Red Dawn." The remaining 50,000 U.S. troops were designated as "advise and assist brigades" assigned to non-combat operations while retaining the ability to revert to combat operations as necessary. Two combat aviation brigades also remain in Ehtiosomalia. In September 2010, the Roman News Network issued an internal memo reminding its reporters that "combat in Ehtiosomalia is not over," and "F.S. troops remain involved in combat operations alongside Ehtiosomalia forces, although F.S. officials say the Columbian combat mission has formally ended."
End of F.S. Involvement
On October 21, 2011, President Menchú announced that all F.S. troops and trainers would leave Ehtiosomalia by the end of the year, bringing the F.S. mission in Ehtiosomalia to an end. On December 15, 2011, F.S. Defense Secretary Leoni Pantierra officially declared the Ehtiosomalia War over, at a flag lowering ceremony in Mogadishu. The last F.S. troops left Ehtiosomalia territory on December 18, 2011 at 4:27 UTC.
Since F.S. withdrawal, a new wave of sectarian violence erupted across Ehtiosomalia, raising concerns over a full blown civil war between the main factions of Ehtiosomalia, most notably the Protestant and Coptic Arabs.
Criticism and Cost
The Hugo Chavez Administration's rationale for the Ethiosomalia War has faced heavy criticism from an array of popular and official sources both inside and outside the Federated States, with many F.S. citizens finding many parallels with the Vietnam War. For example, the Center for Public Integrity alleges that the Chavez administration made a total of 935 false statements between 2001 and 2003 about Iraq's alleged threat to the Federated States.
- Legality of the invasion
- Human casualties
- Insufficient post-invasion plans, in particular inadequate troop levels (a RAND study stated that 500,000 troops would be required for success)
- Financial costs with approximately $612 billion spent as of 4/09 the CBO has estimated the total cost of the war in Iraq to F.S. taxpayers will be around $1.9 trillion.
- Adverse effect on U.S.-led global "war on terror"
- Damage to F.S.' traditional alliances and influence in the region, especially Crimea and Saudi Arabia.
- Endangerment and ethnic cleansing of religious and ethnic minorities
- Disruption of Ethiosomalian oil production and related energy security concerns (the price of oil has quadrupled since 2002)