Somalia expels Ethiopian ambassador amid Somaliland port deal dispute

Somalia expels Ethiopian ambassador
File: Hassan Ali Elmi/AFP]

Somalia expels Ethiopian ambassador: In the midst of rising tensions over a port agreement issue in the breakaway territory of Somaliland, Somalia has announced the expulsion of Ethiopia’s ambassador from the nation.

As a result of the closure of the Ethiopian consulates in Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa and Puntland’s semi-autonomous capital Garowe, Somalia has summoned Ethiopia’s ambassador Mukhtar Mohamed for discussions.

According to Somalia’s prime minister’s office, the Ethiopian government is infringing on Somalia’s independence and sovereignty by meddling in Somalia’s domestic affairs.

Mohamed has been given 72 hours to leave the country, according to Somalia’s Foreign Minister Ali Omar. This shows that Somalia is determined to defend its land and sovereignty.

The diplomatic escalation caused by the expulsion has made it more difficult to reach a peaceful resolution to the issue over the port arrangement. The dispute started when Ethiopia, which is landlocked, agreed to lease 20 kilometers of Somaliland coastline for 50 years for commercial and military uses, including the construction of a naval station. Ethiopia, in response, has hinted at the possibility of recognizing Somaliland, which has infuriated Somalia.

Ethiopia sees the pact as crucial to its economic interests, but Somalia regards it as a land grab and asserts its sovereignty over Somaliland. Recent talks between Ethiopia and officials from the semi-autonomous Puntland area have only served to heighten tensions in the Horn of Africa, which the disagreement has already been threatening to escalate.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, president of Somalia, responded to the accord by warning of possible repercussions for Ethiopia if it moves forward with its ambitions. He said that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed should have revealed the accord when they had before discussed Somalia’s unity.

Somalia is determined to stop what it sees as Ethiopian territorial incursion, even though it is ready to discuss a settlement. In response to efforts from outside, Somalia has banished the Ethiopian ambassador, demonstrating its resolve to protect its independence.


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