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Somalia slams Ethiopian MoU at UN Security Council briefing, warns of regional instability

Tuesday 20, February 2024 {HMC} During the UN Security Council Briefing on Somalia on Monday, Ambassador Abukar’ Baale’ Dahir Osman strongly denounced Ethiopia’s recent MoU with the breakaway Somaliland region, stating, “Ethiopia’s establishment of a military base in Somalia constitutes a clear violation of Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Osman emphasized that such actions by Ethiopia pose a threat to regional stability, highlighting the potential resurgence of extremist groups like Al-Shabaab. He cautioned, “By unilaterally altering the borders of Somalia, the Ethiopian Government is fueling a cycle of distrust and hostility between the Somali and Ethiopian people.”

He also highlighted the potential for a refugee influx and the exacerbation of ethnic tensions between Somali and Ethiopian populations. By unilaterally altering borders and territorial integrity, The Ambassador said Ethiopia risks fueling a cycle of distrust and hostility, further complicating efforts towards peaceful coexistence.

The ambassador’s condemnation comes amidst escalating tensions between Somalia and Ethiopia, with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud accusing Ethiopia of attempting to annex part of Somalia’s territory by signing a sea access deal with the breakaway region of Somaliland. Speaking at the African Union summit in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on Saturday, President Mohamud stated that the agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland, signed on January 1, “is nothing more than annexing part of Somalia to Ethiopia and changing the borders of Somalia.” Somalia categorically objected to the deal, considering it a breach of its sovereignty.

The dispute between Somalia and Ethiopia escalated further when President Mohamud accused Ethiopian security forces of attempting to block his access to the African Union summit. Despite Ethiopia’s firm denial of these allegations, tensions remain high.

In his address to the Security Council, Ambassador Osman stated, “In the African Union Summit on Saturday, Ethiopian Government kept President HSM in his hotel and tried to prevent him from entering the AU HQ to deliver his remarks.” According to Ambassador Osman, this latest escalation exemplifies Ethiopia’s disregard for diplomatic norms and principles, which he emphasized as a dangerous precedent that undermines the integrity of the African Union and international diplomacy.

Furthermore, Ambassador Osman drew attention to Ethiopia’s conspicuous absence from a crucial African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) meeting convened to address the escalating crisis.

The international backlash against Ethiopia’s actions deepens its diplomatic isolation. From Egypt to Turkey, numerous countries have voiced support for Somalia, condemning the Ethiopian-Somaliland agreement as a breach of Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Arab League expressed solidarity with Somalia, urging Ethiopia to uphold principles of neighbourly relations and respect Somalia’s sovereignty. Similarly, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) reiterated its backing for Mogadishu and rejected any actions undermining Somalia’s territorial integrity.

The United States and European Union also joined in condemning the agreement.

Ambassador Osman reiterated Somalia’s commitment to peaceful coexistence with its neighbours while asserting the right to defend its territorial integrity by international law.

SOURCE 

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