Somalia expels Ethiopia ambassador over 'interference'

AFP , Thursday 4 Apr 2024

Somalia's government on Thursday ordered the expulsion of Ethiopia's ambassador and the closure of two consulates, accusing Addis Ababa of "bluntly interfering" in its internal affairs.

somalia
File Photo -Thousands attend a protest rally in Mogadishu, Somalia, over the agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland. AP

 

The cabinet announcement comes as Somalia is locked in a fierce dispute with Ethiopia over a maritime deal that Addis Ababa signed with the breakaway region of Somaliland in January.

It said in a statement that the foreign ministry was instructed to "inform the ambassador of the Ethiopian government in the federal republic of Somalia to return to his country for consultations".

It also said it was ordering the shutdown of Ethiopian consulates in Somaliland and in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland and the departure of their diplomats and staff within two weeks.

The cabinet statement charged that the Ethiopian government was "bluntly interfering with Somalia's internal affairs, and is in violation of Somalia's sovereignty".

Mogadishu has accused Addis Ababa of threatening its sovereignty and territorial integrity over the deal with Somaliland that gives the landlocked country long-sought sea access.

"Somalia stands firm on its sovereignty! In light of Ethiopian interference in our internal affairs, we've demanded Ethiopia's ambassador leave within 72 hours & are closing consulates in Hargeisa & Garowe," Somalia's state minister for foreign affairs Ali Omar said on X.

"Our resolve in protecting our territory is steadfast," he said.

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