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Ethiopia, Somaliland deal draws criticism in Somalia

A memorandum of understanding granting Ethiopia access to one of the sea ports of the self-declared republic of Somaliland has drawn criticism in Somalia.

Prominent Somali political figures opposed to the deal signed on Monday say it threatens the stability of the Horn of Africa region and are urging Somalia’s government to intervene.

“The agreement signed by Ethiopia with Somaliland 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,” Somalia’s former President Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo shared on X.

Somalia’s former Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Abdi Aynte has called on Somalia to “act proportionally and swiftly”, terming the deal “an extremely provocative step” by Ethiopia that “has inevitably thrown the entire Horn of Africa region into a political crisis of epic proportions”.

Somaliland seceded from Somalia in 1991 but is not recognised internationally as an independent state, including by the UN and African Union.

Somalia, which considers Somaliland a part of its territory, is expected to give a response after an emergency cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

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