NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
10th February, 1978 : Somalia is reported to be preparing to send regular forces into the Ogaden, a Somali-speaking province of Ethiopia, after peasant guerrillas have begun inflicting defeats on Ethiopian units. Behind this move lies a surprising big-power switch in the Horn of Africa. The Russians, who have been backing Somalia with arms and military advisers, have now begun to leave the country in large numbers, having transferred their support to the new regime in Ethiopia. Somalia, meanwhile, has been making secret approaches to Washington, which has promised to supply “defensive” weapons. Until the coup in 1974 put the left-wing regime in power, Ethiopia was receiving arms from the Americans.