Security Implications of Ethiopia's and Kenya's Military Interventions in post-1991 Somalia: A Regional Analysis


  • Tadie Degie* Department of Political Science and International Studies, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • Kidane Mengisteab African Studies and Political Science, Pennsylvania State University, United States of America



This article examines the security implications of Ethiopia's and Kenya's military interventions post-1991 Somalia, focusing on the regional dynamics and consequences of their actions. The study is divided into two main sections, discussing the interventions of Ethiopia and Kenya separately and then analyzing the overall impact on the region. In doing so, the article employed a comprehensive approach that considers the historical, political, and security dynamics of the region. Besides, theoretically, it used a combination of realism and constructivism. Ethiopia's intervention in Somalia (2006–2009) was driven by a securitization process within the country, which viewed the conflict in Somalia and the role of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) as a threat to Ethiopian state security. The intervention helped tighten the Ethiopian government's authority and consolidate its state model with the backing of international society. The consequences of the securitization of the "external" conflict in Somalia also extended to "internal" conflicts within Ethiopia. Kenya's intervention in Somalia (2011) was motivated by a series of factors, including national security concerns, the deteriorating situation in the northern pastoralist regions of Kenya, and the personal economic and political interests of senior Kenyan politicians and soldiers from Northeastern Province's Ogadeni Somali community. The operation was partly contemplated by elements of the Kenyan military as early as 2009. The intervention has had both short- and long-term objectives, but its success is uncertain, and it may have unanticipated costs and complications that undermine short-term gains and weaken domestic and regional support. The overall impact of Ethiopia's and Kenya's military interventions in Somalia on regional security is complex and multifaceted. The interventions have contributed to the fragmentation of Somalia and the emergence of new security challenges in the Horn of Africa. The actions of Ethiopia and Kenya have also complicated the election process in Somalia and intensified old tensions within the region. Furthermore, the involvement of these countries in Somalia has created a complex security dynamic, where their military presence has both supported and complicated the transition process in Somalia.


security implications, military interventions, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia




How to Cite

Degie, T., & Mengisteab, K. (2023). Security Implications of Ethiopia’s and Kenya’s Military Interventions in post-1991 Somalia: A Regional Analysis. Abyssinia Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 8(2), 93–102.



Original Research Articles