January 02, 2024

Somalia Declares Ethiopia Port Agreement “Null and Void”

Somalia has revoked the agreement with Ethiopia that would have allowed the landlocked country to use the Red Sea port of Berbera in Somaliland.

On Monday, 1 January, officials of the breakaway region of Somaliland and Ethiopia announced that Ethiopia would be allowed to set up commercial marine operations and have access to a leased military base in the neighbouring country in return for shares of state-owned Ethiopian Airlines.

However, Somalia is far from happy with the deal. Mohamed Farmaajo, president of Somalia, shared an official statement via Twitter, saying: “The agreement signed by Ethiopia with Somaliland today is a serious concern for Somalia and the whole of Africa.”

“Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity is the anchor for regional stability and bilateral cooperation. The Somali government must respond appropriately,” he added.

The following day, Somalia’s cabinet recalled their ambassador to hold an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the pact. The cabinet claimed the memorandum of understanding was “null and void with no legal basis” before adding, “Somalia will not accept it.”

Somaliland declared autonomy from Somalia in 1991, however, the region has subsequently not received widespread international recognition and Somalia still claims the territory is under their jurisdiction.

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