Relations between the United States and Somalia are drawing closer. Following the Soviet and Cuban?
Relations between the United States and Somalia are drawing closer. Following the Soviet and Cuban aid to Ethiopian forces in the recent Ogaden war, United States aid has taken the place of Soviet help in Somalia. The American special envoy to Somalia, Mr. Richard Moose, has had several rounds of talks with President Mohamed Siad Barre. They are believed to have discussed the conditions to be put on further American aid.
SYNOPSIS: Already, the first shipments of American reconstruction aid to Somalia have arrived in Mogadishu harbour. For the past two months US ships have unloaded six million dollars worth of food and nine million dollars worth of transport and administration aid. Among the food is maize, rice, vegetable oil arid powdered milk.
Trading relations with other nations have been maintained. Somalia depends on foreign aid for about 70 percent of its national budget and although it is a socialist nation, food prices are still ruled by supply and demand. Inflation, has been running high, and there is another problem: since the war in the Ogaden, refugees from the disputed desert area have streamed into Somalia. They are mainly nomadic herdsmen, driven by the war and the advance of Cuban and Ethiopian troops through the Ogaden. The refugees are an added burden on Somalia's economy.
Officials have estimates that at least 100,000 have crossed into Somalia, making the American aid more urgent than ever. But US help is not without strings, and the strings are likely to involve a limiting of future Somali territorial claims.
For a long time, politics has had an important place in Somalia schoolrooms. Now, the children are being taught songs about the new relations with America.
They are singing that it was the Cubans, and not the Ethiopians, who were the cause of Somalia's defeat in the Ogaden. Somalia could defeat the Ethiopians, the song says, anytime.