In an ideal world, the two countries would be brotherly nations but in reality the opposite is the case. The energy and resources spent by these erstwhile adversaries in undermining each other — could have made both nations prosperous.
To Somalis and many outside observers, Ethiopia is the aggressor in the relationship. Ethiopia, a land-locked state, has long harboured ambitions to annex Somalia in part of its quest for a Greater Ethiopia.
Currently, thousands of Ethiopian forces are in Somalia to contribute ostensibly to the UN "peacekeeping" mission there. But in the minds of many Somalis, Ethiopia has a hidden agenda and is using this as a cover.
Ethiopia has long meddled in Somali affairs. While negotiating with the British in 1897 over who should control Somalia, Emperor Menelik of Ethiopia claimed: “Somalis had been from time immemorial, until the Moslem [sic] invasion, the cattle-keepers of the Ethiopians, who could not themselves live in the low countries.”
That flawed quest to subjugate Somalis is the driving force behind Ethiopia’s policy towards Somalia. The British were against the idea and warned of long-term consequences but eventually ceded the Ogaden, a Somali-inhabited region, to Ethiopia. This territory — 95 percent ethnic Somali — is part of historic Somalia.