Sisi asserts Egypt’s firm support for Somalia’s security and stability

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 Jan 2024

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has reasserted Egypt’s firm position to stand by Somalia and support its security and stability.

Sisi  Somalia


El-Sisi made his remarks during a phone call with his Somalian counterpart Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud on Tuesday.

According to a statement released by the Egyptian presidency, both leaders tackled means of enhancing bilateral relations and developing cooperation and coordination across various fields.

They also exchanged views on the latest regional developments, added the statement.

"Somaliland"-Ethiopia pact

The phone call between the two leaders comes hours after the breakaway region of Somaliland struck a controversial deal on Monday with Ethiopia giving Addis Ababa access to the Red Sea.

Monday's surprise pact has triggered fury in Mogadishu, which considers it a violation of its sovereignty.

It was announced only days after Somalia's central government had agreed to resume dialogue with the separatist northern region after years of stalemate.

Somaliland has been seeking full statehood since claiming independence from Somalia in 1991, a move fiercely opposed by Mogadishu and not recognised internationally.

The Addis Ababa agreement gives landlocked Ethiopia long-desired access to the Red Sea, a key waterway for global trade.

"This historic agreement ensures Ethiopia's access to the Red Sea for their naval forces, reciprocated by formal recognition of the Republic of Somaliland, marking this as a significant diplomatic milestone for our country," Somaliland's foreign ministry said in a statement.

Somali National Television said on X, formerly Twitter, that there would be an emergency cabinet meeting on Tuesday to discuss the agreement.

There has been no immediate reaction from President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's office, but his predecessor Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known as Farmajo, said on X it was a "serious concern for Somalia and the whole of Africa".

'Brazen violation'

Somalia's pointperson for Somaliland, Abdikarim Hussein Guled, said the government in Mogadishu would respond with a "firm and measured statement".

"The Ethiopian government's actions... constitute a blatant disregard for international norms and legal frameworks, representing a brazen violation of Somali territorial sovereignty and undermining the progress achieved through ongoing dialogue between FGS (federal government of Somalia) and Somaliland that was nearing a resolution," Guled said on X.

"This unilateral act jeopardises regional stability and demonstrates a callous disregard for the Somali people's aspirations for peace and self-determination."

The deal comes months after Abiy said his country, Africa's second most populous, would assert its right to access the Red Sea, sparking concerns among its neighbours.

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