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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Somalia dismisses Ethiopia-Somaliland shoreline deal, says it compromises sovereignty

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MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somalia’s president on Tuesday rejected an settlement signed between Ethiopia and the breakaway area of Somaliland to present landlocked Ethiopia entry to its coast, calling it a violation of worldwide regulation.

“We won’t stand idly by and watch our sovereignty being compromised,” President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud instructed a joint session of Somalia’s federal parliament.

Somaliland, a area strategically situated by the Gulf of Aden, broke away from Somalia in 1991 because the nation collapsed into warlord-led battle. The area has maintained its personal authorities regardless of its lack of worldwide recognition.

On Monday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi signed a memorandum of understanding to permit Ethiopia to lease a 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) stretch of shoreline to ascertain a marine pressure base.

Somaliland’s president mentioned the settlement additionally included a clause that Ethiopia would acknowledge Somaliland as an unbiased nation within the close to future.

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Somalia’s president mentioned Somalia and Ethiopia share an extended historical past and that embracing a peaceable coexistence is the one method to make sure lasting peace within the area.

He additionally expressed concern that Ethiopia’s presence might give rise to extremism, saying that Ethiopia’s incursion into Somalia in 2006 to combat the Islamic Courts Union led to the rise of the extremist group al-Shabab, which nonetheless poses a big risk.

“We have to be cautious to keep away from jeopardizing the numerous strides we’ve made in the direction of defeating this group, and this transfer is creating one other alternative for al-Shabab to recruit,” Mohamud mentioned,

Al-Shabab by its spokesman, Sheik Ali Dhere, urged the Somali folks to unite and defend their land and sea towards perceived exterior threats. The assertion was carried by the group’s radio arm, Andalus.

With a inhabitants of greater than 120 million, Ethiopia is probably the most populous landlocked nation on this planet.

The settlement strengthens the safety, financial and political partnership between Ethiopia and Somaliland, a press release from the Ethiopian prime minister’s workplace mentioned.

The settlement “is unlikely to have an effect on regional stability within the brief time period,” mentioned Matt Bryden, strategic advisor for Sahan Analysis, a Nairobi-based assume tank.

Somalia has no means to impose its will by pressure on Somaliland, however it’s prone to deploy devices of juridical sovereignty to isolate it, Bryden mentioned. These embrace proscribing the actions of assist businesses and donor governments, restraining worldwide flights and warning overseas industrial pursuits towards doing enterprise with Somaliland, he mentioned.

Nevertheless, an escalation in political and diplomatic posturing by neighboring international locations corresponding to Djibouti and Eritrea is “very probably” in the long term, Bryden mentioned.


Related Press author Tom Odula in Nairobi, Kenya contributed.

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