Ethiopia and #Somaliland expected to finalize agreement in coming months following MoU

Officials from the self-declared republic of Somaliland and the Ethiopian government are close to finalizing an agreement that could see Ethiopia establish a naval base along Somaliland’s coastline and potentially recognize Somaliland’s sovereignty, according to Dr. Essa Kayd, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Somaliland.

These discussions follow a memorandum of understanding signed between Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi four months ago. Minister Kayd informed Deutsche Welle that negotiations have been ongoing, and technical committees have been appointed since the signing. However, he disclosed that the process slowed during Ramadan. He expressed confidence that the talks would conclude within the next two months.

In addition to the potential naval base agreement, the possibility of Ethiopia recognizing Somaliland’s sovereignty is also reportedly under discussion. Somaliland’s Finance Minister, Saad Ali Shire, has stated that such recognition could provide Somaliland with a voice internationally and open opportunities for investment, trade, travel, and development. It would also potentially enable Somaliland to borrow from international financial institutions.

If an agreement is reached, Ethiopia would lease a portion of Somaliland’s 850-kilometer coastline to establish a naval base. Minister Kayd has confirmed that three potential areas have been identified but declined to disclose them until further discussions with Ethiopian counterparts conclude.

The memorandum between Somaliland and Ethiopia has faced opposition from Somalia’s Federal Government, which has accused Ethiopia of attempting to undermine Somalia’s territorial integrity. The Group of Seven (G7) countries have also expressed concerns and encouraged dialogue between Somalia and Ethiopia to resolve tensions.



Xigasho:Addis Ababa news