Somali Leaders Strongly Oppose Ethiopia-Somaliland Agreement

Published: January 17, 2024

Mogadishu, Somalia – A group of prominent Somali political leaders have issued a joint statement strongly opposing the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Ethiopia and Somaliland.

The statement, signed by 10 former Somali presidents, prime ministers, ministers, and members of parliament, says the agreement violates Somalia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. It argues the deal breaches the charters of the UN, AU, IGAD, and international law.

The signatories stated they firmly stand with the Somali government in safeguarding the nation and its sovereignty against foreign interference. They cautioned Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed against pursuing aggressive policies and territorial ambitions against Somalia.

While acknowledging outstanding issues between Somalia and Somaliland, the statement stressed these must be resolved through internal dialogue and negotiations. It emphasized maintaining peace between Somalis is paramount.

The signatories commended the Somaliland public for opposing the “treacherous” deal and called on Somalis nationwide to unite behind the central government at this crucial time. They also praised Somaliland leaders for bravely voicing objections to Ethiopian encroachment on their homeland.

The statement concluded by urging Prime Minister Abiy to build bridges between the two nations rather than stoke ancient divisions. It said Somalia seeks friendly relations and prosperity for all in the Horn of Africa region.

The MOU in question allows Ethiopia usage of a military base in Somaliland near the Red Sea coast. Somalia has termed it a violation of its sovereignty.