Somalia expels Ethiopian ambassador amid Somaliland port dispute | Business and Financial Issues


Mogadishu also closed Addis Ababa’s embassies in Hargeisa and Garowe as tensions flared over the port of Somaliland and Ethiopia.

Somalia has announced that it has expelled Ethiopia’s ambassador to the country due to the growing conflict port dispute in the breakaway region of Somaliland.

Ethiopia’s ambassador to Somalia Mukhtar Mohamed has been sent home for talks, the Prime Minister’s Office said on Thursday. Mogadishu has also closed the Ethiopian embassies in Hargeisa, Somaliland’s largest city and capital, and Garowe, the capital of the autonomous region of Puntland.

In a brief statement on X, Somalia’s Foreign Minister Ali Omar added that Mohamed has been given 72 hours to leave the country, following what he called “Ethiopia’s interference” in “the internal affairs of Mogadishu.”

He wrote: “Somalia is supporting its government. “Our determination to protect our territory is unwavering.”

Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soi, reporting from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, said the evictions were “very serious”.

“It looks like that’s what’s going on, it’s going to be very difficult” to try to end the deal amicably, Soi said.

The dispute arose after land-locked Ethiopia agreed on a joint agreement on January 1 to lease 20km (12 miles) of Somaliland’s coastline.

Under the agreement, the coast around the port of Berbera, in the Gulf of Aden, will be used by Ethiopia for 50 years for military and commercial purposes.

Ethiopia said it wanted to establish a military base there and wanted to recognize Somaliland in exchange, which left Somalia humiliated and angry – itself. the accused Ethiopia is trying to get its share of the territory – and fears that the deal could destabilize the Horn of Africa.

‘Landgrab’

Somalia claims Somaliland as part of it, although the northern region has been independent since 1991.

Somalia says the deal is a land grab, while Ethiopia says the deal is commercial and important to its economic needs.

Somalia also noted that the Ethiopian government had bypassed Mogadishu to reach a deal, Al Jazeera’s Soi said.

Adding to the tension was Ethiopia’s recent meeting with Somali officials in the autonomous region of Puntland to discuss a “bilateral” partnership, he added.

In January, the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, in an interview with Al Jazeera said that his country would. “self defense” if Ethiopia goes ahead with the deal.

Mohamud said Ethiopian goods have to pass through Somali territory to reach the leased area and warned Addis Ababa not to do so.

“So far Ethiopians have not come to Somalia. If they do, then it will be a problem to some extent,” said Mohamud.

He also accused Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of keeping him “in the dark” about the deal with Somaliland when they met in Djibouti at the end of December for “excellent” talks on Somalia’s “unity”, just days before the deal was to be signed. he signed.

Asked if he thought there could be a solution to the crisis, which has fueled fears of political instability, he said the ball was in Ethiopia’s court.

“We want Ethiopia to have access to the sea, there is no question,” Mohamud said, adding that the federal government was ready to negotiate with Addis Ababa.

“But taking the land, we’re not ready for that.”



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