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Monday, July 15, 2024


    Eritrea and Somalia Strengthen Comprehensive Bilateral Cooperation

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    Relations between Eritrean leaders and Somalia date back to the administration of Mohamed Siad Barre. In the 1980s, Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki and TPLF leader Meles Zenawi lived in Somalia, under the protection of the Somali National Security Service.

    “President Isaias invoked the historical ties between Eritrea and Somalia and emphasized the importance of consolidating robust and comprehensive bilateral cooperation to advance the interests of both peoples, particularly in the political, security, military, economic, cultural, and social sectors,” Yemane wrote on social media.

    Tensions in the region escalated following a remark by Abiy Ahmed in October 2023 regarding access to the sea. The situation intensified when Ahmed’s government signed a memorandum of understanding with Somaliland on January 1, 2024. The deal granted Ethiopia access to a 20-kilometer stretch of coastal land in exchange for recognizing Somaliland’s independence.

    Somalia viewed the deal as a violation of its sovereignty and launched a diplomatic and political campaign against Ethiopia. In response, Somali President Hassan Sheikh traveled to Eritrea in January 2024.

    Prior to this agreement, Eritrea had been training thousands of Somali troops to support the Somali government.

    President Hassan Sheikh concluded his visit to Eritrea and returned to Somalia on Tuesday. Yemane described Sheikh’s visit as “fruitful.” Before departing, Sheikh met with Somali National Army members undergoing air force training in Asmara.

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