The recent deal between Ethiopia and Somaliland, granting the former access to the latter’s ports in exchange for recognition of its independence, has sparked a diplomatic crisis in the Horn of Africa. Somalia, which considers Somaliland as part of its territory, has strongly condemned the agreement as a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Somali government has also received support from the Arab League and the Arab Parliament, which have issued statements denouncing Ethiopia’s move and reaffirming their commitment to Somalia’s security and stability.
The Arab Parliament has issued a statement supporting the Somali government in its rejection of a controversial deal between Ethiopia and Somaliland, which grants the landlocked country access to the ports of the Somaliland region of Somalia in exchange for recognition of its independence.
The statement, which was released on sunday, January 22, 2024, after a meeting between the Somali president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and the chairman of the Arab Parliament, Adil Bin Abdulrahman Al-Asoomi, in Cairo, Egypt, denounced the deal as a violation of Somalia’s sovereignty, independence and unity, and a threat to the security and stability of the region.
The Arab Parliament also reaffirmed its commitment to protect the territorial integrity of Somalia and stated that Somaliland is part of Somalia according to international regulations. It condemned the invalid agreement signed by the Ethiopian prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, and the Somaliland leader, Muse Bihi Abdi, on January 1, 2024, as an attempt to annex a piece of Somali land.
The statement also confirmed that such actions have a negative impact on the stability of the Horn of Africa region and the traffic in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, where Egypt and other Arab countries have strategic interests. It urged Ethiopia to adhere to the rules and principles of good neighborliness, respect for countries’ sovereignty, and non-interference in their internal affairs to achieve regional security and stability.
The Arab Parliament also expressed its full support for the Somali National Army and welcomed the Security Council’s decision to lift the arms embargo on Somalia since January 1992, which will enable the country to enhance its security and stability. It applauded the decision of the Somali government to forgive foreign debts amounting to 4.5 billion dollars, after reforming its financial administration, which will boost its economic development and prosperity.
The statement also called on the Arab countries, the international community, aid agencies and donors to stand by Somalia and provide all kinds of political, economic and humanitarian support to help the country overcome the obstacles and challenges it faces. It stressed that the Arab Parliament is fully supporting Somalia in its quest for sustainable development and prosperity.
The statement by the Arab Parliament comes amid growing diplomatic tensions between Somalia and Ethiopia over the deal with Somaliland. Somalia has recalled its ambassador to Ethiopia and mobilized the support of its regional and international partners, including the African Union, the European Union, the United States, and Turkey, to condemn the deal and defend its territory.
Ethiopia, on the other hand, has defended its move as a way to enhance its economic and security interests in the region, and has hinted at its support for Somaliland’s independence. Ethiopia has been landlocked since 1993, when its northern region of Eritrea seceded, and has relied on neighboring Djibouti for most of its international trade. Ethiopia and Somalia have also been rivals for decades, and have fought several wars over disputed territories and regional influence.
The report issued by the Parliament included the following points:
The Parliament strongly rejected any attempt to violate the sovereignty, independence and unity of the Federal Republic of Somalia, and called for full compliance with the rules and principles of good neighborliness, respect for the independence of countries and non-interference in their internal affairs to maintain the security and stability of the region.
The Parliament reaffirmed its commitment to protect the territorial integrity of Somalia and stated that the Northern Regions (Somaliland) are part of Somalia according to international regulations.
The Parliament condemned the invalid agreement signed by the Ethiopian government and the Somaliland administration, as this agreement violates the independence and unity of Somalia.
The Parliament confirmed that such actions are a threat to the security and stability of the region, and have a negative impact on the stability of the Horn of Africa region and traffic in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.
The Arab Parliament fully supported the Somali National Army and welcomed the Security Council’s decision to lift the arms embargo on the Federal Republic of Somalia since January 1992.
The Parliament applauded the decision of the Somali government to forgive foreign debts amounting to 4.5 billion dollars, after reforming the country’s financial administration.
The Parliament urged the Arab countries, the international community, aid agencies and donors to stand by Somalia and provide all kinds of political, economic and humanitarian support.
The Parliament stressed that it is fully supporting Somalia to overcome the obstacles and achieve sustainable development and prosperity in Somalia.