Somalia recalls envoy to Ethiopia after Somaliland deal

AFP , Tuesday 2 Jan 2024

Somalia said Tuesday it was recalling its ambassador to Ethiopia, declaring that a controversial port deal Addis Ababa signed with the breakaway region of Somaliland was a violation of its sovereignty.

Somali PM
In an address to the nation, Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre called for the people of Somalia to stay calm. Photo courtesy of Mogadishu Press website


Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre also vowed that Somalia would defend its territory by "all legal means possible" following Monday's agreement that gives landlocked Ethiopia long sought-after access to the Red Sea.

The government said it was appealing to international bodies including the United Nations and the African Union to stand with Somalia.

"Somaliland is part of Somalia under the Somali constitution so Somalia finds this step to be a clear violation against its sovereignty and unity," the Somali cabinet said in a statement.

It said the memorandum of understanding signed in Addis Ababa on Monday was "null and void with no legal basis and Somalia will not accept it".

"In response to this, the Somali government has recalled its ambassador in Ethiopia for consultation."

The government also said it was appealing to the United Nations, African Union, the Arab League and regional East African grouping IGAD among others "to stand with the right for Somalia to defend its sovereignty and force Ethiopia to adhere to international laws".

In an address to the nation, Barre called for the people of Somalia to stay calm.

"I want to assure you that we are committed to defending the country, we will not allow an inch of land, sea and skies to be violated," he said.

"We will defend our land with any legal means possible... We must unite and forget about our differences to defend our land, integrity and sovereignty."

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