Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud vows to discuss Ethiopia’s ‘Destabilizing Actions’ in Nairobi visit

Thursday February 29, 2024 {HMC} Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has vowed to address critical issues on regional peace, stability, and development during his upcoming visit to Nairobi.

The East African State faces significant security challenges, primarily from the Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group Al-Shabaab, while tensions with Ethiopia have escalated over a port access agreement involving Somaliland.

Villa Somalia said that President Mohamud, who will arrive in Nairobi Wednesday to join other world leaders in the ongoing sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6), will touch on ”certain destabilizing unilateral actions that threaten to exacerbate the worsening situation.”

Mohamud’s visit, although unofficial, will be coming hot on the heels of Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s State Visit.

Mogadishu and Addis Ababa have been locked in a tiff since January after Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with PM Abiy’s administration allowing Ethiopia access to the Red Sea via Somaliland’s Berbera port for 50 years.

The deal signed between Abiy and Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi in Addis Ababa, allows Ethiopia to build a naval base and access Somaliland’s coastline for military and commercial purposes.

In return, Ethiopia agreed to formally recognize the Republic of Somaliland, which declared its independence from Somalia in 1991.

The development saw Ethiopia become the first country to formally recognize Somaliland. Addis Ababa promised Hargeisa a share of the state-owned Ethiopian Airlines.

The decision angered Somalia, which considers Somaliland part of its territory, labeling the deal “illegitimate” and “an act of aggression”. Mogadishu said the deal violates its sovereignty and recalled its ambassador to Addis in protest.

International campaign
On January 6, President Mohamud announced that he had nullified the agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland.

Mohamud said he signed into law legislation passed by the two Houses of Parliament voiding the “illegal Memorandum of Understanding.”

“With the support of our lawmakers and our people, this law is an illustration of our commitment to safeguard our unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity as per international law,” Mohamud said.

Despite the call from the African Union and other international actors for the two sides to peacefully resolve the matter, Ethiopia has continued to engage other partners concerning the deal.

On Tuesday, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Pakistan Jemal Beker met with Pakistan’s Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Naveed Ashraf at his office where they “had a productive discussion on matters of mutual interest including maritime cooperation.”

Ambassador Beker said that he had briefed the Pakistan Naval chief on the MoU with Somaliland adding that they discussion also featured fostering regional integration and cooperation on diverse areas.

On Wednesday, Somaliland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs briefed foreign and international missions in Hargeisa on the progress of the Somaliland-Ethiopia MoU deal and the recent killings of Somalilanders in Somalia.

Additionally, Somaliland raised objections to the ten-year defense pact between Turkey and Somalia, aimed at enhancing Somalia’s naval capabilities and coastal defense.

Somaliland also raised objections to the ten-year defense pact between Turkey and Somalia signed last week, a deal that will see Turkey help defend Somalia’s coastline and also rebuild its naval forces.



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