African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 185

Article in Press

Defining Intervention: The Hedging Bets of Superpowers in the Horn of Africa, 1977-1978

Mesafint Tarekegn Yalew

  •  Received: 13 April 2021
  •  Accepted: 22 June 2021
This article scrutinizes the intervention of superpowers in the Horn of Africa during the Ogaden War (1977-1978). It mainly examines the hedging bets of superpowers over the Ethiopia-Somalia boundary conflicts. The study utilizes both primary and secondary sources. The archival sources of the study are collected from institutions such as MOFA, ENALA, and IES where aides-memoir, speeches, and exchange of correspondences are consulted. Secondary sources are collected from published works. The study defines the conventional wisdom of superpowers’ intervention in the Horn of Africa during the Cold War; it pursues to underscore the complex interplay of the realpolitik of Soviet’s foreign policy towards the Horn of Africa. It also outlines Soviet policy perspectives in Africa and its response to the Ogaden War. The study claims that the influence of the Soviets in the Horn of Africa generally attracts other powers in the region. Indeed, Soviet influence in the Horn region escalates the local war into an international dimension. Thus, the study concludes the involvement of superpowers in the Ogaden War to counterweight their balance of power in the Horn of Africa.

Keywords: Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa, Cold War, Ogaden War, superpower’s competition.