BY: ______________________ _______________________ _______________________ 01 June 2009





APPROVAL SHEET In partial fulfillment of the requirements for Strategic Intelligence Course (SIC) Class 30, this REGIONAL STUDY OF BANANA REGION prepared and submitted by _____________, ____________, and ____________ is hereby presented for Oral Presentation. This is to certify that the Panel on Oral Presentation has approved on 01 June 2009 the Regional Study on the Banana Region by subject officer/s.

_______________________ Chairman


_______________________ Member

Accepted and approved in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Strategic Intelligence Course Class 30.













GENERAL BACKGROUND General Location Boundaries Common History Population Climatology and Hydrography Significance of the Region BRIEF STUDY BY COUNTRY SUMMARY OF STRATEGIC FACTORS Political Intelligence Economic Intelligence Transportation and Communications Sociological Intelligence Biographical Intelligence Armed Forces Intelligence




G. H.

Geographical Intelligence Scientific and Technological RECENT REGIONAL DEVELOPMENTS


Political Economic Military Psycho-Social ASSESSMENT Political Economic Transportation and Communications Sociological Biographic Armed Forces Geographical Scientific and Technological General Assessment




CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA LIST OF TABLES Table 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Page CONFIDENTIAL 6 .

CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Page CONFIDENTIAL 7 .

GENERAL LOCATION Eastern Africa or East Africa is the easterly region of Africa that consists of two distinct geographic regions: the eastern portion of the African continent that includes Kenya. The Horn of Africa is a peninsula jutting out from the African mainland and bordered by the Red Sea. Sudan. and Uganda and the Horn of Africa. and Ethiopia. which includes Somalia. and the Indian Ocean. Tanzania. the Gulf of Aden. Eritrea. The Horn of Africa contains a wide diversity of geographical features. though distinctions seem to vary by organization. CONFIDENTIAL 8 .CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA CHAPTER I GENERAL BACKGROUND A. Djibouti. Other nations are often considered a part of the eastern Africa region. ranging from the Ethiopian highlands to the Ogaden desert in southeastern Ethiopia.

The earliest written accounts of the East African coast occur in the Periplus Maris Erythraei—apparently written by a Greek merchant living in Egypt in the second half of the 1st century ad—and in Ptolemy’s Guide to Geography. and Lake Tanganyika the world's second deepest lake. sugar. in its extant form. oil. probably represents a compilation of geographic knowledge available at Byzantium in about 400. East Africa is a land of drastic geographic contrasts.28 million sq mi). featuring the two tallest peaks on the continent. and ghee. while others moved down the Red Sea to the East African coast bringing cloaks. Lake Victoria. C. bounded by the Central African Republic in the west. the world's second largest freshwater lake. grain. Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. and tin. and the deep gorge shaped by tectonic forces. COMMON HISTORY The coast until 1856. BOUNDARIES The Eastern Africa bounded by the Indian Ocean in the east. B. The Periplus describes in some detail the shore of what was to become northern Somalia.9 million sq km (2. copper. Aromatic gums. Ships sailed from there to western India to bring back cotton cloth. bounded in the south by Southern Africa and the Red Sea and the Gulf of Alden in the north. and slaves were traded in return. the East African section of which. East Africa is also famous for its bodies of water. ivory. tunics. the Great Rift Valley.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA East Africa covers a total land area of 5. tortoiseshell. CONFIDENTIAL 9 .

The first identifiable building sites are dated from this time. or the Land of Zanj—by which they meant the land of the blacks and by which they knew it until the 10th century. the Pyralaae Islands. and the island of Diorux (about whose precise location only speculation seems possible). Mafia mention is made of were quantities of ivory and coconut oil .suggesting that iron smelting was not yet known. the East African coast was then generally thought of as being divided into four: (1) Berber (Amazigh) lands. which lies out to sea here. Because of offshore islands. and there are some accounts of overseas migrations to the coast. the only island named in both the Periplus and the Guide. which may lie buried in the Rufiji delta of present-day Tanzania. (2) Zanj proper. They sailed there with the northeast monsoon. and. which ran down the Somalian coast to the Shabeelle River. the chief town was Rhapta. (3) the land of Sofala in present-day Mozambique. Greek and Roman coins have been found. according to Arab geographers. Nikon. and wetter climate. it seems. whence gold was CONFIDENTIAL 10 . returning home in the summer with the southwest. although this could also be either Pemba or Zanzibar (perhaps there has been a conflation of all three in the one name). Arab traders from about 700 seem to have preferred the East African coast to the south of modern Somalia. South of Sarapion. Here the situation differed somewhat from that in the north. A new period opened. Rhapta’s main imports were metal weapons and iron tools . in the 9th century. better landing places. could perhaps be Menouthias. They dubbed the part of the coast to which they sailed Azania. though tortoiseshell and rhinoceros horn were exported from there . and. There is little information concerning the period until the 8th century.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA Azania. No settlements from this period have been found.

The inhabitants. and their populations seem mostly to have been made up from migrants from the Persian Gulf—some from the great port of Sīrāf. and by the 10th century short lengths of coral masonry wall were being built. Such trade goods as they obtained from the interior were apparently bought by barter at the coast. Though there is some suggestion that in the 10th century the Muslims had not yet begun to move farther south than Somalia. traded with the peoples of the Persian Gulf and. They exported ivory (some of it went as far as China) and also tortoiseshell. no doubt. The only island that is mentioned is Qanbalu. beyond. and leopard skins. wattle-and-daub dwellings appeared in due course. which appears to have been what is now Tanzania’s Pemba Island. whose language they adopted. others from near Bahrain—though conceivably some too came from Daybul. on Qanbalu they soon became rulers of a pagan population. because of the greater security these provided against attacks from the mainland. whose main local currency was cowrie shells. They have revealed an extensive pre-Muslim settlement standing on the edge of what was the finest harbour on the coast. and (4) a vaguely described land of Waq waq. ambergris. Ruins at Kilwa. by the CONFIDENTIAL 11 . largely. in northwestern India. Moreover. on the southern Tanzanian coast. Though there is little evidence to suggest that its inhabitants had any buildings to begin with.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA beginning to be shipped by about the 10th century. at Zanzibar an extant Kūfic inscription (the only one) recording the construction of a mosque by Sheikh al-Sayyid Abū ‛Imrān Mūsā ibn al-Ḥasan ibn Muḥammad in 1107 confirms that by this time substantial Muslim settlements had been established. probably date from the 9th or perhaps from the 8th century. at the mouth of the Indus River. The main coastal settlements were situated on islands.

to Mafia. to Pemba. was considerable. Whether they were actually Persian in origin is somewhat doubtful. in the second half of the 12th century. where by the end of the 12th century they had established a dynasty. near Lamu. There appears also to have been a rather extensive trade with the island of Madagascar. had migrated southward to the Lamu islands. Although no houses were being built of coral. By 1300. Though much CONFIDENTIAL 12 . and porcelains. Of these. Apparently established in the 9th century. transshipped either in India or in the Persian Gulf. who. It imported large quantities of Islamic pottery and. There is evidence of a considerable ironsmelting industry at Manda and of a lesser one at Kilwa. a mercantile city on the Somalian coast to which new migrants came from the Persian Gulf and southern Arabia. like the inhabitants of neighbouring Mafia.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA early 11th century. External trade was increasing: glass beads were being imported from India. they were living in Muslim towns. The most important site of this period yet to have been found is at Manda. it is distinguished for its seawalls of coral blocks. For much of the 13th century the most important coastal town was Mogadishu. there were also some of stone. each of which weighs up to a ton. Manda had close trading connections with the Persian Gulf —with Sīrāf in particular. the most important were called Shirazi. the rulers of which were Shī‛ites. in the 9th and 10th centuries. which seems to have been by barter. to the Comoro Islands. had first come under Muslim influence. Trade. on the Kenyan coast. Chinese porcelain. The Shirazi Migration. Though the majority of its houses were of wattle and daub. stone mosques were being constructed. were arriving from China. and to Kilwa. with the main export probably of ivory.

major new developments ensued. and stone houses. architectural styles were relatively uniform. became common. Kilwa declined in the late 14th century and revived in the first half of the 15th. by the latter part of the 13th century they had made Kilwa second in importance only to Mogadishu. The great palace of Husuni Kubwa. with well over 100 rooms. When the Kilwa throne was seized by Abū alMawāhib. were common. was probably built at this time. Elsewhere. Husuni Ndogo. centred upon a roofed rectangular hall divided by masonry pillars. and with the great wealth that resulted new pottery styles were developed. The architectural inspiration of these buildings was Arab. Single-story stone houses. The ruling classes of these towns were Muslims of mixed Arab and African descent who CONFIDENTIAL 13 . mostly of coral. as did Pate. Mombasa became a very substantial town. which. the first half of the 15th century seems to have been a period of much prosperity. too. Each coastal settlement had a stone mosque. Kilwa captured Mogadishu’s erstwhile monopoly of the gold trade with Sofala and exchanged cloth—much of it made at Kilwa—and glass beads for gold. but then—partly because of internal dynastic conflict but also partly because of diminishing profits from the gold trade—it declined again thereafter. with its massive enclosure walls. their craftsmanship was of a high standard. which had hitherto been rare. was built at this time and had the distinction of being the largest single building in all sub-Saharan Africa. and there are signs that eating bowls were beginning to come into more common use. in the Lamu islands. and the grammar of their inscriptions was impeccable. especially on the Kenyan coastline. Chinese imports arrived in ever larger quantities. Whether at Gede (south of Malindi) or at Songo Mnara (south of Kilwa). a marked increase in the import of Chinese porcelain occurred.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA troubled by wars. as were the extensions to the great mosque at Kilwa. typically.

It was bound by sea to the distant Islamic world. They also dominated Zanzibar and Pemba. Its population of about 10. and by the ties of blood and marriage among its leading families. while their influence upon the East African interior was nonexistent. Mombasa. The impetus in this society was Islamic rather than African. and their limited resources confined their political activities to East Africa and to a variety of local rivalries—Zanzibar and Pemba. appear frequently to have been divided between several local rulers. by a common adherence to Islam. Politically.000 compared with only 4. however. ruled at Pate and were well-represented in Pemba as well. Close connections seem to have existed between Mombasa and a number of places to the south. although its control over the area immediately to the north was disputed by its main rival. for example. Malindi. to intermarry with local people. Shirazi families continued to rule in Malindi. who were of Omani origin. Its Shirazi rulers were able to mobilize military support from some of the inland peoples. and as a result of the place it had won in the trade of the northwestern Indian Ocean they had turned Mombasa into a prosperous town. acknowledging no foreign control.000 at Kilwa. Mombasa occupied the premier position on this part of the coast. During the 15th century.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA were mostly involved in trade. whence immigrants still arrived to settle on the East African coast. and to adopt the Swahili language. The Nabahani. and Kilwa and at many lesser places along the coast. CONFIDENTIAL 14 . The impact of these settlements was limited. beneath them were African labourers who were often slaves and a transient Arab population. its city-states were largely independent. Coastal society derived a certain unity by its participation in a single trading network.

who. This was the situation on the East African coast when Portuguese ships under Vasco da Gama arrived in 1498. Shortly afterward the Portuguese sacked both Kilwa and Mombasa and forced Lamu and Pate to submit. The Portuguese became skilled at playing one small state against another. They installed garrisons elsewhere than at Mombasa and brought about the downfall of a number of Shirazi dynasties. one of which. as the ruler of Zanzibar was later. and. in 1589.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA The Portuguese Invasion. Shah ibn Mishhan. however. in leaving no clear successor. This changed toward the end of the 16th century. Within eight years of their arrival they had managed to dominate the coast and the trade routes that led from there to India. to mount assaults upon the ill-defended city-states. gave the Portuguese the opportunity to install Sheikh Aḥmad of Malindi in his place. sacked Mombasa and placed that city much more firmly under Portuguese control. This prompted the dispatch of Portuguese fleets from Goa. the Portuguese set about building their great Fort Jesus at Mombasa. The manifestly superior military and naval technology of the Portuguese and the greater unity of their command enabled them. when Turkish expeditions descending the northern coast with promises of assistance against the Portuguese encouraged the coast north of Pemba to revolt. In 1593. in the years that lay ahead. the major hindrance to Portuguese power on the East African coast was overthrown. CONFIDENTIAL 15 . In the following year it was occupied by a garrison of 100 men. As early as 1502 the sheikh at Kilwa was obliged to agree to a tribute to the Portuguese. With Mombasa’s downfall. This was helped by the death of Mombasa’s last Shirazi ruler. with an architect from Italy in charge and with masons from India to assist them. but their global enterprise was such that they did not immediately impose direct rule.

CONFIDENTIAL 16 . Pate became the centre of East Africa’s resistance to Portuguese rule. gold. in alliance with Pate. the last of Portugal’s allies in Eastern Africa. and cereals but few signs of any considerable traffic in slaves.000 men to lay siege to Mombasa. Portugal lost Hormuz to the Persians in 1622 and Muscat to the imam of Oman in 1650. A few years later Zanzibar. (Local rulers were in particular required to pay regular tribute to the Portuguese king on pain of dethronement and even of death. The main exports were ivory. The Portuguese responded in an equally bloody manner. they controlled the commercial system of the western Indian Ocean. they did make them dependent on them for their position. Although Fort Jesus was reinforced. beads.) Portugal’s chief interests were not imperial but economic. Individual Portuguese traders often developed excellent relations with Swahilis in the coastal cities. also fell to the imam. Customs houses were opened at Mombasa and Pate. With Mombasa in their grip. in 1696. Though the Portuguese managed to ride out local rebellions into the 17th century. As a consequence. the imam of Oman sailed to East Africa with a fleet of more than 3. and silks were imported. ambergris. and ironware. cotton. weapons.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA although they did not exercise day-to-day control over local rulers. the great Portuguese stronghold finally fell to Sayf ibn Sulṭān in December 1698. Two years later the Omanis launched their first major intervention into East Africa’s affairs when in response to a Mombasan appeal the imam sent ships to Pate and Zanzibar and killed their Portuguese inhabitants. and coral. There was a flourishing local trade in timber. but eventually. jewelry. rice. pitch. their authority over a much wider area was undermined by the rise of new powers on the Persian Gulf.

did not long persist in their allegiance to Muscat. after the Omani victory. an Omani clan who had provided some of the imam’s governors to Mombasa but who. was ambitious to preserve its independence. like all the other coastal towns. Kilwa. Thereafter. Even so. Lamu. and Pate largely kept themselves free from both Omani and Portuguese control. There ensued. because they were opposed to the Āl Bū Sa‛īdīs. The architects of this achievement were the Mazrui. who very soon found themselves preoccupied by conflicts at home. fell from power. ‛Alī ibn Uthman al-Mazrui. In 1746 a Mazrui notable. in the 18th century reached the apogee of its power as an independent city-state.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA The Omani Ascendancy. a century during which. They owed their authority in Mombasa itself to an ability to hold the balance between the rival factions in the Swahili population and also to their ability peacefully to overcome all but one of their dynastic successions. where in 1728–29 Portuguese authority was momentarily restored. But the Mombasans wanted as little to be controlled by Portugal as by Muscat and soon evicted the Portuguese once again. the East African coast remained very largely free from the dominance of any outside power. and was then superseded by the Āl Bū Sa‛īdīs. Moves against them also originated along the East African coast. Its originally successful Ya‛rubid dynasty lost prestige as a consequence. Zanzibar. CONFIDENTIAL 17 . Mombasa. especially from Mombasa. Oman itself suffered an invasion by the Persians and was long distracted by civil conflict. In 1727 Pate joined with the Portuguese to expel the Omanis. Distracted though it was by protracted internecine quarrels. in quite new circumstances. despite a succession of Omani incursions. Pate was preeminent in the Lamu archipelago and.

) Then. his successor. CONFIDENTIAL 18 . thus bringing to an end the previous influence that the Mazrui had exercised. he wrested Pemba from Mazrui control and by 1824 had installed a Muscat garrison in Pate as well. Having won the succession to Muscat after an internecine struggle following his father’s death in 1804. it was both developed and used by Sayyid Sa‛īd ibn Sulṭān of Oman as the base for his growing ambitions. but for a family quarrel. c. As such. 1810. Lamu appealed to Oman for a garrison to assist it. and established Mazrui dominance from the Pangani River to Malindi. which had long held to its association with them. Mombasa’s authority on the coast was diminished. maintained close links with inland Nyika peoples. who were much concerned to safeguard their route to India. and the way was open to Muscat’s great intrusion into East African affairs. Thanks to the city’s growing success. Both Mombasa and Pate were disastrously defeated by Lamu in the battle of Shela. (In this he was assisted by the British. who had captured Kilwa in 1785. in turning itself into the main entrepôt for the trade in the area south of Mombasa. Mas‛ūd ibn Nā’ir. maintained their principal footing upon the coast in Zanzibar. from the end of the 18th century onward. which ran close to Muscat on its way past the Persian Gulf. Soon after he seized Pemba and. might have won Zanzibar.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA overthrew an Omani force that had murdered his brother. Zanzibar soon rivaled Mombasa as the focal point for the whole coastline. Pate’s preeminence in the Lamu islands was destroyed. Sa‛īd spent much of the next two decades establishing his authority there. in 1822. The Āl Bū Sa‛īdīs. initiated a pattern of cooperation with Pate. to which Sayyid Sa‛īd of Muscat very soon responded.

either on the coast or in CONFIDENTIAL 19 . let alone to break with their ally Sa‛īd. This was succeeded by the discovery that cloves could be successfully grown on Zanzibar and by the development of flourishing plantations. on his own initiative raised a British flag of protection over Mombasa in 1824. In the event. and in 1828. His dominion along the whole coastline thus became assured. It also stemmed from his intimate association with the major economic developments then taking place along the East African coast. Captain W. Since the British had no desire formally to extend their authority to East Africa at this time. a British naval officer. which followed on the death of a liwali in 1835. and 1833 he mounted assaults upon Mombasa. This gave Sa‛īd his opportunity. British pressure on Sa‛īd to end the export of slaves to “Christian” markets came to fruition in 1822.F. and to the support he received from the British. Though their application was formally denied. when he reluctantly signed what became known as the Moresby Treaty. to his force of Baloch soldiers (with which he supplemented his Omani levies). particularly at first in the Kilwa region. that he was able in 1837 to fasten his control over Mombasa and to topple the Mazrui from their position. Owen. more especially from 1780 to 1810 as a result of French demand for slaves in Mauritius and Bourbon. and after over a century’s interval the East African littoral once more found itself dominated by a single outside power. it was hauled down in 1826. 1829. These began with a marked growth in the previously marginal slave trade. the Mazrui appealed to the British for assistance. it owed much as well to the striking personality of Sa‛īd himself. to his investment in a navy. Though this outcome owed much to the inability of the coastal towns to unite against an invader. But it was only when he successfully intervened in a dynastic dispute among the Mazrui.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA Sensing the increasing threat from Muscat. it made very little difference. however.

It also attracted to the East African coast migrant Indians. but copal. Because of this increased activity. and he therefore showed himself more CONFIDENTIAL 20 . cowries. The increased economic activity that centred upon the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba served to enhance the importance of the smaller towns that stood on the mainland opposite. however. but by 1856 the United States and France were both making purchases in East Africa of more than $500. Some of the main items of trade. Increasing commercial activity brought Sayyid Sa‛īd sufficient wealth to buy ships and pay troops. The French made similar provisions in 1844. It also attracted an influx of European traders. were traditional. They were the first Westerners to conclude a trade agreement with Sa‛īd (1833) and the first also to establish a consul at Zanzibar (1837).000 a year. Sa‛īd’s economy in due course became less dependent upon the export of slaves. such as ivory. together with the Arabs who were beginning to make profits from their clove plantations. sesame. hides. while exports to India. particularly British India. since slaves were being required in growing numbers for the plantations on both Zanzibar and Pemba and for export to the Persian Gulf and beyond. cloves. of which the most important were the Americans.) The British followed with a trade agreement in 1839 and a consul in 1841. and. (Their prime achievement was to capture the cloth trade to East Africa—so that cheap cotton cloth thenceforth came to be known there as Americani. Indians helped to finance the new upcountry trading caravans. British trade. and some Germans from the Hanseatic towns moved in at about the same time.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA the interior. who became heavily involved in the country’s economic expansion. and coconut oil were also important. never flourished and in fact died away. were higher still.

Since investigations and analyses are still at a very early stage and since the first hypotheses have proved vulnerable to criticism. Beyond the harsh nyika. by which the export of slaves to his Arabian dominions was forbidden. Zanzibar was firmly established as the East African coast’s main centre. of extensive absorption. sometimes interspersed with pleasanter plains toward the centre.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA ready than he might otherwise have been to accept the so-called Hamerton Treaty of 1845. The interior before the colonial era. which lay immediately inland and was nowhere pierced by a long. Furthermore. from which major new incursions into the interior had begun to radiate extensively. thornbush country extended to the south. They must also take account of probable interactions with other peoples en route and often. which at best is only for recent centuries. all accounts of tribal migration must allow for innumerable short-run moves and may refer only to small—if important—minorities. Since there are no written records antedating the last century or so for this region. the statements that follow must be only tentative. The coast was never more than East Africa’s fringe. from oral traditions—where they are available. beyond. its history has to be deduced from often uncertain linguistic. while to the north cooler forested highlands ran into harsher country. the regions of the great lakes whence the Nile ran northward through its usually impassable marshes. Above all. indeed. and anthropological evidence. navigable river. it is understandable that in 1840 he should have transferred his own capital from Muscat to Zanzibar. At his death in 1856. cultural. Westward lay the Great Rift Valley and. Since by this time the revenues from Sa‛īd’s East African territories had overtaken those he received from Oman. or wilderness. care must be exercised over CONFIDENTIAL 21 . and from archaeological findings.

Latterly. which could not be easily brushed aside by subsequent alien invaders. During the Mesolithic period (thence to c.000 bc. the extensive agricultural revolution in East Africa. new stone-tool-making techniques evolved. who are physically and linguistically akin to the San of southern Africa. Two features of the pre-19th-century period may be stressed: first. Spreading to other parts of East Africa. 10. second. which took place during this time. During the earlier stages of the Stone Age down to about 50. they often lived in precisely those highland regions where agriculture and animal domestication in East Africa first occurred. Remnants of other hunting and gathering communities—such as the Twa and Mbuti of western Uganda —or at least the memory of them. Moreover. hand-ax industries were established in the Rift Valley areas of Kenya and of Tanzania (especially at Olduvai Gorge) and along the Kagera River in Uganda.000 bc). in the Neolithic period humans clustered into specialized hunting-and-gathering communities from which may have developed some still-existing ways of life. CONFIDENTIAL 22 . in the three or four most recent millennia the key innovations in human evolution seem to have occurred elsewhere. and the use of fire was mastered. bolder categories such as Bantu are strictly only linguistic and must be treated with caution. are found in many places.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA anachronistic concepts of tribe. although it seems to have been in this part of Africa that humans first developed. The largest number of relevant sites is close to the homeland of the Hadzapi—the last contemporary hunters and gatherers—and to that of the Sandawe. had the vital consequence that sizable populations grew up in areas of adequate rainfall.

The major occurrences of the 1st millennium ad involved the spread of agriculture—more particularly. seems to have been occupied for over a thousand years.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA Food production and the keeping of cattle seem to have begun in the highland and Rift Valley regions of Kenya and of northern Tanzania in the 1st millennium bc and to have derived from peoples who were probably southern Cushites from Ethiopia. It is a reasonable assumption that its inhabitants were Cushitic speakers. Certainly there was no swift or complete transfer from stone to iron. and it may be that the age-old systems of irrigation found throughout this region owe their origins to this period as well. for example. the cultivation of the banana—to the remaining areas of East Africa. Simultaneously or perhaps previously went the spread of ironworking. The spread of ironworking and the Bantu migrations. its styles of pottery do not seem to have been related to those that became widespread in the 1st millennium ad. but it seems that its major period belongs to the middle of the 2nd millennium ad. a major Iron Age site. Agriculture preceded the smelting of iron in these areas. and hunting and gathering continued to be important for the domestic economy. but. food production did not develop in the period bc elsewhere in Tanzania. It looks as if in due course southern Cushites spread deep into what is now southern Tanzania. At Engaruka. Some traces of these interlopers remain among. It is still far from clear when and whence iron smelting spread to the East African interior. in that same region of the Rift Valley in northern Tanzania. so far as has been ascertained. for example. Significantly. the Iraqw of Tanzania. nor in what is now Uganda. which was both an important and concentrated agricultural settlement using irrigation. and fairly certainly too the diffusion of Bantu languages—except in the core of the CONFIDENTIAL 23 .

More varieties of banana developed in East Africa than anywhere else in the world. At all events.. should have diffused along the tributaries of the Congo River to the savanna country south of the Congo forest into what is now the region of Katanga (Shaba) in Congo (Kinshasa). If. where rainfall. and Tanganyika. Kyoga. Edward. and it is at least possible that they existed—though they may well have been judicial arbitrators or ritual leaders rather than more strictly political figures. Nor does it seem inconceivable that the banana. it does not seem inconceivable that over a lengthy period of time some of its speakers. Albert.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA Cushitic wedge and to the north of an east-west line through Lake Kyoga. probably carrying with them a knowledge of grain agriculture and conceivably a knowledge of ironworking. and. The early interlacustrine kingdoms. Whether they had their origins in roving Cushitic or CONFIDENTIAL 24 . some of the most interesting developments were occurring in the interlacustrine area—i. and the absence of the tsetse fly allowed. should have spread to that same region up the Zambezi valley (certainly the Malayo-Polynesian influences in Madagascar in the 1st millennium ad are well attested in other respects). Vague accounts of rulerships in various parts of this area date from the first half of the 2nd millennium ad.e. population growth increased decisively. as seems probable. the region bounded by Lakes Victoria. the linguistic and archaeological arguments for a fairly rapid eastward and northward expansion during the 1st millennium ad from the Katanga area now have wide acceptance. originally an Indonesian plant particularly suitable in tropical conditions. Bantu languages came to dominate most of this region (many Cushitic speakers in what is now Tanzania seem to have switched over to them or to have been eliminated). proto-Bantu languages had their origins in the eastern interior of West Africa. Ironworking was soon prevalent. soil nutrients. Sometime before the middle of the 2nd millennium ad.

CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA Nilotic cattle keepers from the north or northeast—as has been variously suggested —is impossible to say. in western Uganda. powerful traditional rulerships among the interlacustrine Bantu persisted after the middle of the 20th century. What seems certain is that about the middle of the present millennium a sudden cultural political climax was marked by a short-lived. encloses a large grazing area on a riverbank. Radioactive carbon dating suggests Bigo was occupied from the mid-14th to the early 16th century. Buhaya. is of very long standing. would support the view that the distinction between cultivators and a pastoral aristocracy. Kibengo. which later became typical of this area. and Bugoma. Under these. more than 61/2 miles (10. Its construction must certainly have required a considerable mobilization of labour—which. This correlates with the evidence of oral tradition that around the turn of the 15th century the Chwezi were supplanted in the north by Luo rulers of the Bito clan (who provided the dynasties that ruled in Bunyoro. That at Mubende seems to have been a religious centre. though widely acknowledged. and parts of Busoga) and that they were superseded to the south by various Hima rulers of the Hinda clan (in Ankole. and around to the southeast of Lake Victoria). Munsa.5 km) long. apart from indicating that it must have been the work of a substantial political power. Busubi. some of it cut out of rock. The Chwezi people are frequently associated with the great earthwork sites at Bigo. dynasty of Chwezi rulers. It looks as if it comprised both a royal capital and a well-defended cattle enclosure. and the corresponding Nyiginya dynasty in Rwanda. though some such explanation would not be difficult to believe. CONFIDENTIAL 25 . Koki. Mubende. where a ditch system. The largest is at Bigo. Buganda.

the Kinga.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA Their relatively common experience was reinforced in the aftermath of the Chwezi dynasty by the prevalence among them of a variety of (often commemorative) Chwezi religious movements. the chiefly groups among the Nyamwanga. Buganda. They (the ntemi) were probably as much ritual leaders as political rulers. At the same time. the development of chieftainships in CONFIDENTIAL 26 . the Ngonde. sometimes against it— they spread into Bunyoro. In some areas these took the form of spirit-possession cults. In northwestern Tanzania. By roughly the 16th century there may have been an extension of this style of chieftainship southward into southwestern Tanzania. and Usambara. the Nyika. Safwa. the Pangwa. the Safwa. Burundi. dynasties of a pre-Chwezi kind apparently spread from the interlacustrine area during the middle centuries of the present millennium. The chieftainships of the southern savanna. in what is now Tanzania. Buha. At all events. pantheons of deities were developed. Rwanda. the Bena. matrilineal neighbours in southern Tanzania. the Hehe. and it seems clear that they are to be distinguished from their significantly different. Ntemi (as the office was called) became prevalent among both the Sukuma and the Nyamwezi. Busoga. So extensive a diffusion of a basically common religious tradition in any other part of the East African interior before the much later arrival of Islam and Christianity was rare indeed. Kilimanjaro. and even to Nyamwezi country. certainly they do not seem to have exercised before the 19th century a “state” authority that was characteristic of the later interlacustrine rulers. Zambia. and Congo (Kinshasa). Kaguru. There also seem to have been secondary movements of ntemi-like institutions in the 18th century to Ugogo. and the Sangu have common traditions of origin. in others. Ankole. In various guises—sometimes in support of the existing political order.

The old Cushitic wedge checked them from spreading farther westward. indeed. from a cradleland in what is now The Sudan. to the east of Lake Albert. The spread of some Bantu to the northern coast of East Africa during the 1st millennium ad is supported by the memory of a settlement area named Shungwaya situated to the north of the Tana River. It has been suggested. over both sides of the Kenyan and northern Tanzanian Rift Valley. There is controversy as to whether the ancestors of the present Kamba and Kikuyu of Kenya were from Shungwaya. For some 18 generations or so Bito rulers of Luo origin held sway over the kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara. The supersession of the Chwezi by Luo dynasties in the northern interlacustrine region at about the end of the 15th century resulted from the migrations of Nilotic peoples southward—in this instance. after which it was subjected to a full-scale invasion of Cushiticspeaking Oromo peoples from the Horn of Africa. Northeastern Bantu. Shungwaya appears to have had its heyday as a Bantu settlement area between perhaps the 12th and the 15th centuries. but it would seem that they probably broke away from there some time before the Oromo onslaught. The Nilotic Migrations.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA these other areas of Tanzania may originally have occurred independently of influences from elsewhere. Though at first their dominion CONFIDENTIAL 27 . as it would seem to have done for two or more millennia past. This extended. but in the middle of the present millennium it was subjected to one of the multiple waves of invading Nilotic peoples—who were partly agriculturists and partly pastoralists—that moved into much of the northern and northwestern parts of East Africa. it has seemed. that the Kikuyu spread through their present territories from 1400 to 1800.

By 1700. a great expansion of Kalenjin peoples. or kabaka. if not its earlier dimensions. they began to be rivaled in the 16th and 17th centuries by the rise of Buganda. under its ruler. and bred the Jopaluo and Jopadhola to the east and also the sizable Luo populations who. however. These Highland Nilotes (as distinguished from. River-Lake Nilotes such as the Luo). a second expansion into this old protrusion was beginning. Over to the east. there appears to have been. The Luo rulers and such followers as had accompanied them were soon fully absorbed into the Bantu population of these kingdoms. into the former Cushitic domain that centred upon the Rift Valley. Immediately to the north (where the Bantu did not extend) there occurred the greatest independent expansion of the Luo peoples. During the 18th century the Masai (Plains Nilotes. came to settle on the northern side of Winam Bay to the northeast of Lake Victoria and spread thereafter to its southern shore as well. against further Bantu incursions. who formed the Acholi. Working on interior lines and based upon a particularly fertile region. The CONFIDENTIAL 28 . Already divided into pure-pastoralist and mixedagriculturist subtribes. Buganda developed a strength and cohesion that from the 18th century onward was to make it—with Rwanda—one of the two most formidable kingdoms of the region. they were soon to be found to the east near Kilimanjaro. between the mid-16th and the mid-18th centuries.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA seems to have been widely extended. provided ruling groups for peoples to the west who came to be called Alur. seem to have absorbed most of the previous southern Cushites who remained there and also to have successfully held the core of this ancient wedge. until they came to be found as far south as Gogo country in central Tanzania. among others. in about the middle of the present millennium. as they are sometimes called) spread over most of the area.

the Acholi).CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA earlier Kalenjin thus found themselves confined to the hillier country between the Rift Valley and Lake Victoria. at least. both before and after the middle of the present millennium. as a safeguard against Ngoni raids—the creation of new political institutions. It has been suggested that all these Highland and Plains Nilotic migrations were set off. With the breakup of their main body. the Lango began moving southwestward (and became much affected by their River-Lake Nilotic neighbours. and their leaders were often less important than the elders of their clans. Farther to the north in the areas beyond Mount Elgon a shorter-run series of migrations by other Plains Nilotes was simultaneously taking place. and the Bena—in part. including more powerful CONFIDENTIAL 29 . in the 18th century. Then. where—constituting the Keyu (Elgeyo). a new style of raiding and appear to have precipitated among such peoples as the Holoholo and the Ndendehule. Like the Oromo. the Nilotic peoples lacked any firmly institutionalized political power. in the 17th century. the Sangu. after 1845. at the north end of Lake Nyasa. another struck north to Lake Victoria. the Kipsikis. some parties of Ngoni moved northward. First. by successive pressures from the Oromo to the north. they came to rule other peoples who may very well have had traditions of rulership before they arrived. Such distinctions were to be of immense importance for the future. They carried. Indeed. Some Ngoni groups made their way to Songea. the Nandi. Pressure on the southern chieftainships. the Teso. Karimojong. Nilotes established “states” only where. the Suk (Pokot). and the Tatoga of more recent times—they entered into a variety of interactions with their various Luo and Bantu neighbours. as in the interlacustrine area over to the west. and others began also to move in various southward directions. to the area west of Lake Tanganyika.

had broken away from Bunyoro. a powerful state was built up. swallowed the small kingdom of Gissaka. then. But there were also growing points in the interlacustrine area.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA rulerships. or ruler. Nyungu and his rugarugas (or bands of warriors) created a dominion that survived his death. to the south. where. while fragmentation was almost endemic among the Busoga kingdoms to the east. under Munyigumba and then on his death. to its east. By the 1890s its neighbour Nkore seems to have been in danger of disintegrating as well. and among the Buhaya kingdoms on its eastern shore. in the aftermath of a succession war. Kigeri IV (who reorganized its military forces) it extended its control by raiding to the north. Nothing quite so striking occurred to the northeast. The most notable of such developments were. but on his death in the 1860s his rulership disintegrated. at the south end of Lake Victoria. then among the Nyamwezi. where one of the largest kingdoms. It failed to defeat Burundi. had already broken up. between 1870 and 1884. among the Hehe. CONFIDENTIAL 30 . where between 1870 and 1884 the warrior chief Mirambo established a powerful personal rulership. Kimweri enjoyed a considerable dominion in the region of the Usambara Mountains. in 1879. Further such disintegrations occurred in the 19th century among the rulerships of Buha and Buzinza. in the first place. Conflict persisted between the smaller Chaga rulers on Kilimanjaro. under his son Mkwawa. In the mid-19th century. previously the most extensive of the kingdoms in this area. to the west of Buhaya. The kingdom of Mpororo. consolidated its rear by annexing Lake Kivu. Earlier in the century Toro. but under its mwami. and also among the Kimbu. where. Rwanda. to its north. Rwanda and Buganda.

The Luo and Masai. To the north and northeast the previous migrations of the Luo from west to east were followed in the 19th century by a new wave of migrations from east to west. Having annexed the large area of Buddu. for example. the warrior people of the plains and open plateaus north and south of the CONFIDENTIAL 31 . further expanded in two southward and westward waves toward Lake Kyoga and toward the Victoria Nile. in the late 18th century.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA Its power was equaled in this region only by the kingdom of Buganda. while Buganda’s successful predation owed a good deal to its new military efforts under the mujasi. Bunyoro’s improved position turned much on its new military formations. Buganda thereafter generally refrained from any further territorial extensions. The Lango. or military commander. They had a good deal of success eastward in Busoga and southward along the western shore of Lake Victoria and around its southern rim. Activity was rife also among the pastoral peoples to the east. Southward stood the Masai. In the 1870s and ’80s Buganda’s protégés were on several occasions installed in petty rulerships in Busoga. To their south the Teso and the Kumam were also moving west and south. to its southwest. where they ran up against the Acholi. In 1869 Bunyoro successfully survived Buganda interference in one of its succession conflicts (as Nkore did in 1878) and indeed in the 1870s and ’80s was renewing its strength. as well as to the building of a formidable fleet of canoes. while abroad they preferred to make satellites rather than subjects of their neighbours. the abarasura. Its rulers steadily increased their authority at home by enhancing the power of appointed chiefs at the expense of the clan leaders. In about 1850 the Turkana began to migrate from a base west of Lake Rudolf. A flourishing trading network developed around Lake Kyoga.

such people considerably increased their populations. switched to agriculture. built mud walls around their villages— while others. were rather better placed and from their carefully guarded fastnesses could defy the Masai. who. his erstwhile dominions in East Africa were split off from the imamate of Muscat. Their wars denuded the Laikipia and Uasin Gishu plateaus of their former Masai. such as the Teita. Under the leadership of their laibon-like orkoiyots. for example. On the coast. Where the soil was fertile. who. under the auspices of their rival laibons. and the Kikuyu. On the edges of their country they even entered into some permanent trade and marriage relations with the Masai. and by the close of the century some of these were fighting each other for local supremacy. They also helped the Nandi. was the most famous—in a succession of internecine conflicts largely over cattle and grazing grounds. Though they had no chiefs. who succeeded his father. in 1866. with the Uasin Gishu Masai now troubling them no more. were soon the new powers in the land. or ritual leaders— among whom Mbatian. of Sayyid Saʿīd. who lived on higher ground and in forest country. Trade with the coast. being deprived of their cattle. the Nandi and their kinfolk. the Kamba.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA string of Rift Valley lakes west of Mount Kenya. to the west. in 1856. following the death. “prominent men” were accorded a recognized status among them. By 1873 the authority of the Āl Bū Saʿīdī sultans on Zanzibar itself became complete. the so-called Wakwavi. From 1830 onward their various subtribes were engaged. moreover. Subet. the Kipsikis. although there were still revolts against them on the coast—particularly at Pate and Mombasa (where the Mazrui retained their preeminence despite CONFIDENTIAL 32 . took to raiding on their own account from a base between the Rift Valley and Lake Victoria. Some of their neighbours who lived in open country put up defense works against them—the Baluyia.

Their main route thereafter struck immediately to the west and soon made Tabora their chief upcountry base. begun to thrust inland before the end of the 18th century. there was then a final period of unprecedented slaving on the mainland. Yao. Indeed. but they were welcomed in both Buganda and Bunyoro and largely forestalled other traders who. CONFIDENTIAL 33 . to the south. were thrusting up the Nile from Khartoum. By the early 19th century Kamba traders had begun regularly to move northwestward between the Rift Valley and the sea. and Nyamwezi traders were long active over a wide area. Zanzibari caravans had.000 or so slaves were being sold annually in the Zanzibar slave market. where the trade in slaves had generally been closely connected with the trade in ivory and the demand for porters was still considerable. They forestalled. however. however. As it happened. after 1841. By the 1860s some 7. but in 1873 a treaty with the British closed the market at Zanzibar. it was Africans who usually arrived first to trade at the coast. by two proclamations in 1876. while others went northwestward and captured the trade on the south and west sides of Lake Victoria.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA successive defeats)—and at Kilwa. In these areas some of those who crossed the Nyasa-Tanganyika watershed (which was often approached from farther down the East African coast) were involved as well. Trade in the East African interior began in African hands. From there some traders went due west to Ujiji and across Lake Tanganyika to found. rather than the Zanzibaris. In the southern regions Bisa. This arose chiefly from the sultan’s acceptance of the further measures against the East African slave trade pressed upon him by the British consul at his court. in the latter part of the 19th century. Here they were mostly kept out of Rwanda. and Sultan Barghash. Fipa. who first moved inland. slave-based Arab states upon the Luapula and the upper reaches of the Congo. reduced the export from the mainland to a trickle.

frustrated Gordon’s efforts on the Nile. and by the early 1880s. however. led Khedive Ismā‛īl Pasha of Egypt to appoint in 1869 the Englishman Samuel White Baker as governor of the Equatorial Province of the Sudan. however. only remnants of the Egyptian enterprise remained. who seemed unable to establish themselves beyond Kilimanjaro on the south side of Lake Victoria. But Mutesa I. Speke returned first to discover Lake Victoria in 1858 and then with James Grant in 1862 became the first white man to set eyes on the source of the Nile. The Colonial Era. A comparable notion. By the 1880s. Though Baker reached as far south as Bunyoro in 1872. The Egyptian incursion had been the climax to the search by many European explorers for the headwaters of the Nile—a quest that had obsessed the later years of the Scottish missionary David Livingstone and had prompted the discovery in 1858 of Lake Tanganyika by the English expedition of Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke. kabaka of Buganda. Charles George Gordon. with bankruptcy in Egypt and the Mahdist revolt in the Sudan. the coastal traders moving inland from Mombasa. they were operating both in the Mount Kenya region and around Winam Bay and were even reaching north toward Lake Rudolf. but the idea was never pursued. so that Baker might carry the Egyptian flag to the East African lakes. proposed to circumvent both Bunyoro and Buganda by going straight up the Nile’s banks. By circumnavigating Lake Victoria 12 years CONFIDENTIAL 34 . which Speke named Ripon Falls. These Mombasa traders only captured the Kamba trade by first moving out beyond it to the west. he was soon obliged to leave. Suggestions that he might at this time establish his dominion over the East African interior prompted Sultan Barghash to send a Baloch force to Tabora. His successor.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA too.

then in 1864 transferred to Zanzibar. the Nyabingi in Rwanda. in the 1840s and ’50s. Roman Catholic missionaries reached Zanzibar in 1860 and settled at Bagamoyo in 1868. spread in quite the way that the Chwezi movement had earlier. were followed by a British Methodist mission. on the other hand—spread widely at the instance of the Zanzibari traders and long established on the coast—had secured a scattering of converts in the interior as in the key kingdom of Buganda. Johann Ludwig Krapf and Johannes Rebmann of the Church Missionary Society.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA later. journeyed to the foothills of Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro. however. and the Yakany movement north of Mount Ruwenzori. Anglican missionaries arriving in Buganda in the mid-1870s at the request of Kabaka Mutesa were soon followed by Catholic White Fathers—there and elsewhere on Zanzibar’s Tabora route—while the London Missionary Society sent men both to Unyamwezi and to Lake Tanganyika. of course. CONFIDENTIAL 35 . concern in western Europe over the East African slave trade. None of them. Islam. and the Roman Catholic and evangelical fervour that existed there inspired the invasion of the East African interior by a motley collection of Christian missionary enterprises. the example of David Livingstone. An Anglo-Catholic mission first tried to establish itself in the Shire highlands. who had worked inland from Mombasa and had. Henry Morton Stanley stilled the controversy that had ensued in Europe over Speke’s claim. The revelations of these explorers. a number of localized religious movements among the peoples of East Africa during the 19th century. These included the Mbari cult among the Nyakyusa. Missionary Activity. There were.

Philanthropic. In east-central Africa the key occurrence was the AngloGerman Agreement of 1886. of great moment occurred until 1885. Carl Peters. they did not initially win many converts. After 1880. With this. however. and those they at first obtained came only from among freed slaves and refugees from local wars. when a German. then north of Kilimanjaro to a point on the eastern shore of Lake Victoria.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA This was the scene onto which Christian missionaries first entered. the European scramble for Africa began. The Christians mostly spoke Semitic languages and the Muslims Cushitic tongues. This began the extraordinary process by which the territories and subsequently the nations of East Africa were blocked out first upon the maps far away in Europe and only later upon the ground in East Africa itself. secured the grant of an imperial charter for his German East Africa Company. and eventually imperialist ventures followed these evangelical endeavours. The Horn of Africa The history of the Horn of Africa has largely been dominated by Ethiopia and has been characterized by struggles between Muslim and other herdsmen and Christian farmers for resources and living space. Although these languages CONFIDENTIAL 36 . Partition by Germany and Britain. they made important conversions in Buganda. and by the end of the century Christianity was spreading in the Lake Victoria area over most of the region in which the Chwezi movement had previously percolated—and before very long over a much larger area as well. however. Nothing. Although by 1885 there were nearly 300 of them in East Africa. riding a tide of diplomatic hostility between Germany and Britain in Europe. by which the two parties agreed that their spheres of influence in East Africa should be divided by a line running from south of Mombasa. commercial.

a Semitic language. Mark. frankincense.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA were derived from the same Afro-Asiatic stock. gold. the more apparent differences between the peoples often were excuses for war. was waged under the banner of nationalism and Marxism-Leninism. When the Ethiopian empire of Aksum emerged into the light of history at the end of the 1st century ad. During the next 200 years Christianity penetrated the masses. Its people spoke Ge‛ez. was five days’ march from the coast onto the Tigray Plateau. Its port of Adulis received a continuous stream of merchants who offered textiles. and they mostly worshiped Middle Eastern gods. By the 4th century Aksum had become a regional power and an ally of Constantinople. iron. tools. where the commodities originated. although here and there a traditional African deity survived. as foreign and native-born monks proselytized the interior. building churches and establishing monasteries wherever they found pagan temples and shrines. glassware. precious jewelry. which. Aksum dominated Welo. Through the first half of the 6th century Aksum was the most important state in the Red Sea–Indian Ocean region and even extended its power over the kingdom of the Ḥimyarites on the Arabian Peninsula. tortoiseshell. silver. and steel in return for ivory. whose language and culture attracted the ruling elites. from which position it dominated trade routes into the south and west. CONFIDENTIAL 37 . Sometime around 321 Emperor Ezana and the Aksumite court converted to the monophysitic Christianity—a belief that Christ had one nature that was both divine and human—of Alexandria’s See of St. it was as a trading state known throughout the Red Sea region. by the end of the 20th century. Aksum. slaves. rhinoceros horn. Aksum. copper. In the Horn. and myrrh. the capital.

There. and goats. and the important trade routes to and from the Sudan. another Cushitic people. and forced Constantinople into an overland trade route with India and Africa. and Ethiopia learned to exist in local terms. The rise of Islām in Arabia a century later almost completely devastated Aksum. sheep. The Somali. They then turned north and peopled the entire Somali peninsula. monuments. In 543 Abraha. churches. the Agew. the general in charge of Ḥimyar. and 20. they and the local Cushitic-speaking population. finally following the Tana River to the Indian Ocean. Meanwhile. For their livelihood. The capital’s stone buildings. grain-growing areas of the interior. had separated themselves from the Oromo in what is now north-central Kenya. and the government could no longer maintain a standing army. State revenues were greatly reduced. worked out a new political arrangement for Ethiopia. and urban amenities. the Somali. Aksum lost its economic vitality. coming into contact on the coast with Arab and Persian trading CONFIDENTIAL 38 . allowed Persia to assume supremacy. Eritrea. a complex administration.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA Tigray. The Christian state moved southward into the rich. where the rulers could sustain themselves. they depended upon the one-humped Arabian camel. and Adulis and other commercial centres withered. Aksum’s international trade diminished. The culture associated with the outside world quickly became a memory. as Muslim sailors swept Ethiopian shipping from the sea-lanes. This event marked the end of the empire’s regional hegemony.000 inhabitants were supported by tribute and taxes extracted from vassals and traders. rebelled and weakened Aksum’s hold over South Arabia. During the first centuries ad they migrated in a southeastern direction. a shift reflected in the debasement of the state’s coins.

overlooking the largely Muslim-inhabited Awash valley. By the 12th century the entire northern Somali coast was Islāmized. providing a basis for proselytism in the interior. from whom they took Islām and a mythological Arabian origin. a large Muslim polity with its port at Seylac. routed the enemy. owing to succession problems and the sheer complexity CONFIDENTIAL 39 .CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA communities. The Ethiopian emperor. Amda Tseyon. whose raiding Ethiopia could not control. One hundred years later. the Solomonid state had begun to decay. In 1332 Ifat. Located in the semidesert Harer region. An amalgamated Christian state. The Solomonids permitted Muslim business activities in return for submission and taxes. But. which exited via Mitsiwa in Eritrea or through Seylac on the northern Somali coast. had reappeared in the 12th century. By then Muslims dominated Ethiopia’s trade. led by Semitized Agew. By then Ethiopia faced a challenge from Adal. under Emperor Zara Yakob. and carried the frontier of Christian power to the edge of the Shewan Plateau. Adal employed highly mobile Somali and Afar cavalry. fought back hard. declared a holy war against Ethiopia and invaded its territory. destroying churches and forcing conversions to Islām. This Zagwe dynasty gave way in the late 13th century to a dynasty that claimed descent from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Meanwhile. they encountered a resurgent Christian Ethiopia. During the 14th and 15th centuries the Solomonid monarchs expanded their state southward and eastward. The Solomonids. fed up with being a Christian vassal. as the Somali migration and Islām moved westward. the Solomonid empire extended its authority southward to modern Bale and Sidamo. Ifat’s militant successor. a genealogy providing the legitimacy and continuity so honoured in Ethiopia’s subsequent national history.

Emperor Galawdewos learned that 400 Portuguese musketeers had disembarked at Mitsiwa in response to pleas for assistance. and won battle after battle. their weapons and tactics inspired Galawdewos to exploit Ethiopia’s difficult terrain by undertaking hit-and-run warfare. The distress was exploited by the charismatic Aḥmad ibn Ibrāhīm al-Ghāzī. Thereafter. A’mad thereupon declared a holy war. A’mad Grāñ built a civil administration composed of his own men. responding in part to overpopulation among the Somali. traversing the rich Amhara Plateau north of the Awash and destroying churches and monasteries. After he took over Adal about 1526. fragmenting the Solomonid state into its component parts. mobilized tribesmen to purify the state. which his army easily repulsed. but not the staunchly Christian mountain fastnesses. The Muslims consequently stopped paying tribute and a percentage of their trading profits to the hated Christians. During 1531–32 the Muslims pushed northward. indeed rigorous. remnants of the pre-Solomonid ruling classes. and collaborators. Muslim. known to the Ethiopians as A’mad Grāñ (“A’mad the Left-handed”). A’mad railed against the secular nature of Adal. led his men into Ethiopia. A’mad never knew where his adversaries would strike and therefore placed his forces in defensive positions. they grew stronger and more daring. There. Though they lost half their strength moving inland.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA of governing a large empire. while he and his personal CONFIDENTIAL 40 . A pious. in 1541. and trained his enlistees to use the modern tactics and firearms recently introduced by the Ottomans into the Red Sea region. his refusal to pay tribute triggered a Solomonid invasion in 1527. where they lost their mobility. By 1535 he headed a vast Islāmic empire stretching from Seylac to Mitsiwa on the coast and including much of the Ethiopian interior.

Rise of the Oromo. the related Afar and Somali peoples had hived off northeastward to the Red Sea coast. Kefa. Ethiopia rebuilt feudalism. and Sidamo. Unable to follow Europe into commercial and then industrial capitalism. a Cushiticspeaking pastoralist people whose original homeland was located on the SidamoBorena plain. From there. The country had lost hundreds of thousands of lives. south of the Blue Nile and the Awash River. Christian converts along the periphery of the heartland. Dawaro (in the modern Arsi region). Some Oromo may have climbed onto the high CONFIDENTIAL 41 . Finally. chafed under renewed exploitation. south of Lake Tana. and Bale. a whole range of people remained tributary to the Christian kingdom. returned to their life of dispossession and economic marginalization. Gamo Gofa. to the north of Lake Tana.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA guard acted as a rapidly deployed reserve. From among this last category emerged a new and more fundamental threat to oldfashioned Ethiopia. perhaps in some way causing the pressures that finally erupted in A’mad Grāñ’s invasion of the Solomonid state. especially in the border provinces of Ifat. because the state simply had to restore affordable administration. and that single death ended the war. but at a great cost. the Indian Ocean. and the Judaized Falasha. Encamped at Weyna Dega near Lake Tana. Welega. and the Gulf of Aden. By the early 1550s Galawdewos had fashioned a reasonable facsimile of the high Solomonid empire. 1543. by Galawdewos and a flying column. Ilubabor. The challenge came from the Oromo. Christian Ethiopia was reprieved. During the hard-fought battle A’mad was killed. Muslims. and its store of capital. confidence in itself and its religion. remained disaffected. in modern Gojam. A’mad’s unit was attacked on February 21.

and depopulation. demoralization. for the Christian highlands received the hinterland’s trade in transit to the Red Sea and the Nile valley. but. Every eight years. the new capital. Helped by their adversary’s war-weariness. Shewa. from the 1540s on. By the beginning of the 17th century they had pushed northwestward into the modern regions of Arsi. A complex caravan network linked Mitsiwa (now Massawa. they advanced farther into the well-watered. Gonder. and Gonder and parts of Gojam. bought and paid for with coffee obtained from the Oromo-dominated lands. Demand CONFIDENTIAL 42 . Garrisons established along the empire’s periphery by Amda Tseyon and Zara Yakob were designed to keep the Oromo out. an easily defensible. doing business with the Sudanese cities of Sannār and Fazughli for slaves and gold. Eritrea) on the Red Sea coast with the highlands of the interior. and Welo. only to be repulsed. For the next two centuries Abyssinia defined the limits of Ethiopia’s extent. The Oromo had an age-set form of government that changed every eight years. became a regional centre. Abyssinia. and Gojam and northeastward into Harerge and Welo. Semiticspeaking peoples in a territory comprising most of Eritrea. The Christians retreated into what may be called Abyssinia. Tigray. high population density.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA Christian plateaus as early as the late 13th century. but not its reach. socially cohesive unit that included mostly Christian. when a new warrior class sought its fortune by raiding and rustling in order to provide resources that the natural environment lacked. fertile highlands—a sharp contrast with their arid bush country. Welega. the Oromo naturally resumed infiltrating. Shewa. the Oromo invariably won territory after territory. stopping only where they were blocked by forest. when these defenses were destroyed during the war with A’mad Grāñ. or effective mobilization of Christian forces.

Meanwhile. Menilek. Yohannes forced the submission of Ethiopia’s princes. the Italians hoped to translate a cordial relationship with the new emperor. and Abyssinia’s national unity had been restored after a century of feudal anarchy that ended with the accession of Yohannes IV in 1872. by the establishment of a British base in Aden. leaving the British in control of ports in northern Somalia from which foodstuffs were exported to Aden. as Yemen. that took Shewan caravans to the coast. and furs could be sold for a sizable (and untaxed) profit. into an Ethiopian empire. Revival of the Ethiopian Empire. pushed back Mahdist invasions in 1885–86. after 1885. Britain sought to close off the Nile valley to the French by facilitating Rome’s aspirations in the Horn. Thus. Italy occupied coastal positions in Ethiopia and in southern Somalia. and limited the Italians to the Eritrean coast. outside imperial control. After Yohannes’ death in March 1889. This limited the French to their mini-colony. sought increasing amounts of coffee for transshipment to Europe. gold. a major trading partner on the Arabian Peninsula.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA for Ethiopian products increased considerably during the last quarter of the 17th century. and missionaries helped organize a route. and by the opening of a French coaling station at Obock on the Afar coast. scientists. CONFIDENTIAL 43 . By the late 19th century the northernmost Oromo had been assimilated into Christian culture. hides. The economy of the Red Sea region had been stimulated by the opening of the Suez Canal. the ambitious King Menilek II of Shewa began a reconquest of Ethiopia’s southern and eastern peripheries in order to acquire commodities to sell for the weapons and ammunition he would need in his fight for the Solomonid crown. repulsed Egyptian expansionism in 1875–76. where Menilek’s ivory. Italian adventurers.

Italy not only refused to rescind its declaration but also reinforced its army in Eritrea and invaded eastern Tigray. Since neither France nor Russia accepted the new protectorate status. Menilek mobilized. rejecting Rome’s claim. facing a much smaller enemy force some miles away. in what became known to Europeans as the Battle of Adwa.800 prisoner-hostages.000 men was encamped at Adwa in Tigray.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA On May 2. Menilek directed Ethiopia’s return into the southern and western regions that had been abandoned in the 17th century. followed traditional religions or Islām. 1896. The Italians’ famous mistranslation of Article XVII of the Treaty of Wichale provided them with an excuse to declare Ethiopia a protectorate. On October 26. and spoke non-Semitic languages. In practically every way but skin colour. conceding the unconditional abrogation of the Treaty of Wichale and recognizing Ethiopia’s sovereign independence. Menilek signed at Wichale (known as Ucciali to the Italians) a treaty of peace and amity with Italy. Ethiopia continued to acquire modern weapons from these countries through Obock. Italy signed the Treaty of Addis Ababa. but they also were inspired by the CONFIDENTIAL 44 . practiced animal husbandry or cultivation with digging stick or hoe. When. the northerners were aliens. leaving Eritrea to Rome in the hope that peace with honour would be restored quickly. Most of the newly incorporated peoples there lived in segmented societies. Menilek immediately withdrew his hungry army southward with 1. To Italy’s dismay. by 1894–95. 1896. In late February 1896 an Ethiopian army of approximately 100. Their superior weapons and more complex social organization gave them a material advantage. The Italians nevertheless attacked and were defeated on March 1. During the next decade. 1889. the new emperor promptly wrote to the Great Powers.

Indeed. forcing him to sue for peace and to withdraw into a remote and unadministered area of Italian Somaliland. but they did not realize that they were participating in Europe’s “scramble for Africa” and that they were creating problems among nationalities that would afflict the Horn of Africa throughout the 20th century. way of life. 1920.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA idea that they were regaining lands that had once been part of the Christian state. By 1908 he was again on the attack. during which tens of thousands of Somali clansmen died. The Somali were further informed about their potential unity by. Italians. The Birth of Somali Nationalism. Menilek and his soldiers believed that they were on a holy crusade to restore Ethiopia to its historic grandeur. whom Maxamed regarded equally as oppressors and infidels. CONFIDENTIAL 45 . The rebellion was directed at the British. The Italians and the British chose not to intervene. religion. Maxamed pioneered the traditions of modern Somali nationalism. preferring to let Somali kill Somali. and limited their activities to the coast. their Italian colonizers. and destiny. It was not until 1920 that British air power ran the sayyid to ground. ironically. About 1900 the first of these problems erupted in Somali-inhabited regions. forcing him to flee into the Ogaden. this time causing a massive civil war. where he died on December 21. these powers admitted their collusion by collaborating militarily against the sayyid and his forces from 1901 to 1904. under the leadership of Sayyid Maxamed Cabdulle Xasan. which combined Islām and anti-imperialism in a movement that sought to transcend clan divisions and make all Somali aware that they shared a common language. and Ethiopians.

Rome had not abandoned its dream of an Ethiopian empire. when Ethiopia entered the League of Nations.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA Italian Rule. By 1932 this advance alarmed Emperor Haile Selassie I. To this end. As regent to Empress Zauditu from 1916 to 1930. In August CONFIDENTIAL 46 . in December 1934. he went into exile. Rome used Somalia and Eritrea as bases from which to launch its attack in October 1935. and its colony of Somalia. Despite the defeat at Adwa. The new regime. The issue was never in doubt. The potential threat of such a state. and afterward as monarch. and military. led to the Italo-Ethiopian War. on September 28. 1923. Haile Selassie had worked to reform the economy. communications. These achievements presaged a modern Ethiopian state that would block Rome’s colonial plans and perhaps even undermine its position in the Horn of Africa. ignoring Ethiopia’s traditional political organization. which began in the Ogaden. as well as considerations of European politics. Eritrea. where colonial troops seized strategic wells and posed as the protectors of Islām and the Somali people. who was building a modern state in order to safeguard Ethiopia’s independence. More successful was its infiltration from Somalia into the adjacent Ogaden. with a confrontation between Italian and Ethiopian soldiers at the water holes of Welwel. government. after a terrible war that featured aerial bombardment and poison gas. enlarged Eritrea to incorporate most of Tigray and placed the Ogaden in Somalia. Haile Selassie had neither the armaments nor the disciplined troops necessary to fight the modern war that Italy mounted. His success was recognized early. it worked hard at economic penetration but was invariably frustrated. and Italy proclaimed an East African empire consisting of Ethiopia. In May 1936.

the gendarmerie. and towns. and the southern centres became incubators of pan-Somali ideas. and the junior administration. Devoted to a concept of Somali unity that transcended ethnic considerations. By 1947. which he concluded would be the dominant postwar power. In 1942 and 1944 Anglo-Ethiopian treaties left the Ogaden under British rule for the duration of World War II. most of Somaliland’s intelligentsia was devoted to pan-Somalism. although Addis Ababa’s sovereignty over the region was acknowledged. He regarded British activities in Somaliland as subversive and turned to the United States. the Italians marched north and occupied British Somaliland for seven months until dislodged by an Anglo-Ethiopian victory in the Horn of Africa. after Rome had declared war against the Allies. Berbera. 1943. This view was echoed in the British government’s idea of Greater Somalia—a notion that was anathema to Ethiopia. continuing the unification of the two territories. and on May 13. which were quickly transmitted to their northern compatriots.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA 1940. The Italians left Somaliland with an administrative infrastructure. After his return to Addis Ababa in May 1941. The British governed both Somalilands from a single city. the Somali Youth Club was formed in Mogadishu. the club quickly enrolled religious leaders. when it became the Somali Youth League. American lend-lease and other assistance permitted Ethiopia to rebuff Britain and to secure the CONFIDENTIAL 47 . The British allowed their subjects relative political freedom. Haile Selassie worked consistently to restore Ethiopia’s sovereignty and to fend off British colonial encirclement and the isolation of his state. to balance the geopolitical threat. Pan-Somalism. communications.

One year later. The United CONFIDENTIAL 48 . Washington decided to provide Ethiopia military and economic aid. The vision of Greater Somaliland. responding to growing Soviet influence in Egypt. The Christians joined the Unionist Party. and poor natural resources would not sustain independence. Washington was concerned about retaining control of a communications station near the Eritrean city of Asmera (now Asmara). The Ethiopians were assisted by an international fact-finding commission that visited Eritrea in late 1948 and concluded that there was no national consciousness to nourish statehood and that its backward agriculture. and it decided to support Ethiopia’s claim to Eritrea in return for a formal base treaty. Another fixed idea. With U. the idea of union with Ethiopia attracted the largely Christian population in the highlands—arguably the colony’s majority.S. Eritrean Nationalism. crude industrial base. While some Eritreans. from the political freedoms allowed by the relatively liberal British military administration. which simultaneously sought international support for regaining its coastal province. The commission recommended some form of dependency—a decision ultimately referred to the United Nations. especially Muslims and intellectuals. held these views in the 1940s. dominated Somali political programs in subsequent years.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA return of the Ogaden in 1948. which came into being in 1952. sponsored by the Ethiopian government. which beamed intelligence information from the Middle East to the Pentagon. where the United States was the most influential power. between 1941 and 1952. the United Nations agreed to a federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea. also derived from the Italian years. that of Eritrean independence. Partisans here argued that Eritrea had evolved modern social and economic patterns and expectations from its colonial experience and. leadership. however.

freedoms enunciated in the Eritrean constitution were suborned. Shocked. leading personalities were exiled. Together. which undertook to equip a 20. were unable to resolve the differences between Somalia’s goal of uniting all its compatriots and Ethiopia’s need to retain its national integrity—as it was doing in Eritrea. forced a ceasefire. heeding Mogadishu’s constant radio broadcasts to prepare for a war of liberation. In November Mogadishu signed a military assistance pact with the Soviet Union.000-man army. expertise. Somalia Irredenta. equipment. supported by the armed bands and then. after hard fighting. Somali nomads vigorously resisted the tax and rebelled. use of the Amharic language and other attributes of imperial culture were imposed on the population. Subsequent negotiations. however. the Somali-inhabited northern region of Kenya. and technology as well as military training. From the Ethiopian federation’s very inception. Courts. the imperial government had worked to transform Eritrea into an ordinary province. In February 1963. the Eritrean CONFIDENTIAL 49 . by Somalian troops. and munitions—a relationship that ultimately drove Somalia into an alliance with the Soviet Union. 1960. young men organized themselves into clandestine fighting units. the Ethiopians attacked Somalian border posts and adjacent towns in January 1964 and. three points of which represented Djibouti. political parties were suppressed. in the fall of 1963.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA States subsequently became Ethiopia’s main supplier of capital. these made up Somalia irredenta. schools. In the Ogaden. Cracks in the Empire. and the Ethiopian Ogaden. the Ethiopian government sought to introduce a head tax to help sustain development efforts in the Ogaden. The Mogadishu government became independent on July 1. and social services slowly became organs of the imperial regime. Its flag was dominated by a star.

This largely Muslim movement received an infusion of young Christians after 1962. In December 1970 the imperial government declared a state of emergency in parts of Eritrea and stepped up counterinsurgency activities. putting down a rebellion among Oromo farmers and Somali herders against new land and animal taxes. It was not until the government sent in two army brigades and several squadrons of groundattack jets that the rebellion was suppressed. The government also used force in Bale and Sidamo between 1963 and 1970. Its manifesto. This inevitably became involved with the politics of Somalia irredenta. when. its towns and industries once sustained by the needs of the Italian colonial and British military regimes had difficulty competing in a national economy. The ELF now had sufficient strength to attack Eritrea’s administrative and economic infrastructure. though Eritrea had received more development funds than any other region in Ethiopia. the Eritrean assembly voted to adopt the status of a governorate. The Ethiopian government had proved unable to undertake the social and economic programs that could win the allegiance of the people. Furthermore. In July 1960 a group of mostly Muslim exiles in Cairo announced the establishment of the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF). attracted the support of Syria.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA flag was banned. through Addis Ababa’s manipulation. By late 1966 rebels controlled both southern Bale and southeastern Sidamo and. Force became the CONFIDENTIAL 50 . at the same time. which eagerly offered military training for rebellion in a country tied to the United States and Israel. were attacking northern districts at will. which called for armed struggle to obtain Eritrea’s rights. and in 1960 the designation Eritrean government was changed to Eritrean administration.

with the portion of government expenditure devoted to the military actually declining from about 20 percent in 1970 to 14 percent by 1974. had long before decided not to permit Ethiopia an offensive capability and therefore provided money and arms only for internal security and for frontier defense. The imperial regime may have wanted to spend more on the military. the Soviets were busily arming Somalia. Militarism in the Horn.000 troops. They identified the monarchy and the ruling elites as the enemy of the people.000. pointing to the huge profits they made from sharecropping and other forms of capitalistic agriculture. radiating from Addis Ababa was a zone of economic development that grew annually.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA only tool of social control. which by 1970 had become the most militarized state per capita in the Horn of Africa. but its chief arms supplier. and his supporters were seen as exploiting Ethiopia for the benefit of the United States and its allies. For students in Addis Ababa.000 and 50. Peasant anxieties about land dispossession were loudly repeated by the students. In early 1974 the government was unable or unwilling to CONFIDENTIAL 51 . By 1973 it was clear that the power behind the Ethiopian throne was the army. sustaining 20. dislocating traditional farmers. Haile Selassie was an agent of reaction. partly because the emperor had grown reliant on the military but also because his government was inherently weak. Addis Ababa thus managed to contain the Eritrean guerrillas and to keep the Somali in check with relatively modest outlays and was able to devote more of its resources to economic development programs. Rise of the Dergue. who abhorred the realities of unequal economic growth and opted instead for the theoretical egalitarianism of unproved Marxist-Leninist models of development. Indeed. Meanwhile. Ethiopia’s armed forces remained between 45. the United States.

Haile Selassie was deposed and. CONFIDENTIAL 52 . 1974. When junior officers and other ranks went on strike over working conditions and inadequate supplies and equipment. On September 12. War in the Ogaden. called the Dergue. new mass organizations were put in place. The EPLF took most of eastern Eritrea. most industry and all land were nationalized. during the next year. On February 11. Simultaneously. the army was being infused with fully developed MarxistLeninist ideas by homegrown ideologues or by returnees from Europe and America. civilian opposition to the military government erupted in urban civil war. now dominated by the more secular Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF).CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA respond to economic crises caused by the inflation of petroleum prices and by drought and famine in northern Ethiopia. and the west was abandoned to the insurgents. and throughout 1977 anarchy reigned in the country as the military suppressed its civilian opponents. The situation in Eritrea therefore continued to deteriorate. dissidents within the military organized into a central committee. whose agenda quickly became the abolition of the monarchy and the creation of a socialist state. The Western dogma was swallowed whole by the more militant and socially conscious officers and men. Although a new cabinet was appointed. and programs were begun that could not be implemented effectively because the soldiers always sought a military solution to political problems. In Addis Ababa. meanwhile. leaving only the major centres in government hands. During this trauma the Somali chose to attack. 1977. This quickly became the real government as the emperor’s men dissipated their energies in coping with a series of demonstrations. Mengistu Haile Mariam was named head of state and chairman of the ruling military council. the government resigned.

and from Cuba and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen. Mengistu’s government was unable to resolve the Eritrean problem. Moscow suspended all military aid to the aggressor. and reassigned military advisers from Somalia to Ethiopia. By March 1978.000 regulars and 15. By September 1977 Mogadishu controlled 90 percent of the Ogaden and had followed retreating Ethiopian forces into non-Somali regions of Harerge. pilots. Ethiopia and its allies regained control over the Ogaden. it was wise to transfer Soviet interests to Ethiopia. began openly to deliver weapons to Addis Ababa. the Soviet Union concluded that the revolution would lead to the establishment of an authentic Marxist-Leninist state and that. Moscow secretly promised the Dergue military aid on condition that it renounce the alliance with the United States. This Soviet volte-face also gained Ethiopia important support from North Korea. closed down the U. Mengistu. Similarly. which trained a People’s Militia. and the people grew CONFIDENTIAL 53 . for geopolitical purposes. Bale. Maxamed Siyaad Barre. was able to muster 35. To this end. and expended large amounts of wealth and manpower on the conflict while rebellion spread to other parts of Ethiopia. however. His forces began infiltrating into the Ogaden in May–June 1977.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA The Somalian president. Fall of Military Governments. military mission and the communications centre in April 1977. believing that the Soviet Union’s revolutionary history of national reconstruction was in keeping with Ethiopia’s political goals. and overt warfare began in July. and Sidamo.000 fighters of the Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLF). Siyaad proved unable to return the Ogaden to Somalian rule. In September. and armoured units.S. which provided infantry. After watching Ethiopian events in 1975–76.

The TPLF joined with other forces to form the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Mengistu refused to negotiate provincial autonomy. in northern Somalia.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA restive. but only on the highest CONFIDENTIAL 54 . The intense upheaval. Average temperatures are reduced by the high average elevation. In 1988 Siyaad and Mengistu agreed to withdraw their armies from possible confrontation in the Ogaden. After a failed military coup in 1989. attracting supporters from other areas. which. CLIMATOLOGY Straddling the Equator from latitudes 18° N to 18° S. Meanwhile. with the EPLF. and the EPRDF began organizing an ethnically based government. rebels destroyed administrative centres and took over major towns. sparking the growth of ethnically based organizations. and fragmentation in the Horn of Africa put into question the future of political and territorial alignments. The EPLF declared itself the de facto government of Eritrea and made moves toward independence. and they were unable to surmount droughts and famines that afflicted the Horn during the 1980s. Amid increasing anarchy. Mengistu fled in May 1991. the president fled in 1991. and fighting in Somalia spread southward and to Mogadishu. By 1989 Siyaad had refused serious political negotiations with his opponents. By 1987 the Tigre People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) controlled much of Tigray province. eastern Africa’s climate is dominated by its tropical location and by a great range of elevation. destitution. defeated Mengistu’s forces throughout 1990 and 1991. Both Ethiopia and Somalia had followed ruinous socialist policies of economic development. the TPLF advanced toward Shewa. D. leaving Somalia to disintegrate into clan units.

to eight-month season. which are uplifted as they meet at a zone of low pressure called the intertropical convergence zone. but one along the Red Sea brings winter rain to dry coastal Eritrea. and coastal locations in Tanzania and southern Kenya also experience locally high rainfalls. There. It is the amount and seasonal duration of rainfall that distinguishes most climatic regions. with important implications for agricultural ecology and health. As the sun moves into either the northern or southern tropic. Even at the Equator. northern Uganda and central and southern Tanzania receive 20 to 48 inches (500 to 1. Even lower relief features are sufficient to generate locally enhanced precipitation. The major highlands are sufficiently extensive to form a major exception to these patterns. with rainfall less than 10 inches per year. CONFIDENTIAL 55 . more continuous rains follow from two seasons of overhead sun and from the local effects of the 27.400 feet creates climates outside the tropical category. Thus. In winter a contrary outflow from Southwest Asia brings little moisture. bring intense summer rains. with glaciers present on Kilimanjaro and other peaks. resulting in a gently subsiding atmosphere rather than the uplift needed to generate precipitation. Arid Somalia and northeastern Kenya are anomalous in these latitudes.000-square-mile (70. The highest mountain summits rate as alpine.200 millimetres) of rainfall in a five. in the northern summer. Around Lake Victoria on the Equator. airflow diverges toward the low pressure of the Indian Ocean monsoon system.000-square-kilometre) surface of the lake. so converging air flows.CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA mountains is the temperature low enough to restrict the growth of vegetation. a reduction in temperature at elevations above 5. these are followed by a winter dry season as the sun shifts to the other tropic.

Tigray in Ethiopia. bringing drought to such areas as highland Eritrea. and Dodoma in Tanzania. Machakos in Kenya. fluctuations in the large-scale dynamic systems can move the boundary of adequate moisture hundreds of miles. CONFIDENTIAL 56 .CONFIDENTIAL REGIONAL STUDY EASTERN AFRICA With rainfall so dependent on airflow.

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