Article from ROAPE Volume 5 Number 12
USSR, China and the Horn of Africa

The USSR, China and the Horn of Africa
Vol.5 No.12 (Summer 1978), pp5-30
Soviet foreign policy; PDRY (People's Democratic Republic of the Yemen); EPLF (Eritrean People's Liberation Front); The break with Somalia; USSR's switch to Ethiopia; The break with Sudan; Eritrea; The Military dimension; POMOA (Provisional Office for Mass Organisational Affairs); AETU (All Ethiopia Trades Union); PMAC (Provisional Military Advisory Council); Mengistu; China; Cuba What are we to make of events in the Horn? Two ‘Marxist-Leninist’ regimes, Somalia and Ethiopia, fighting each other, and each in turn having been armed by the Soviet Union; then Ethiopia using Soviet and Cuban help to put down the Eritrean liberation movement, one wing of which also styles itself ‘Marxist-Leninist’ . Are any of these acting on the basis of Marxist principles? Or in accord with ‘proletarian internationalism’ ? Or with Lenin's theses on the national question? In particular what are we to make of Soviet policy? This article argues that defence of state interest has been the primary consideration in Soviet foreign policy-making since 1917.