Somali President Arrives in Addis Ababa for African Union’s 37th Meeting

Published: February 16, 2024

Mogadishu, Somalia – Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, today, February 16th, amid simmering tensions over the recent agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland. This visit coincides with the 37th African Union Summit, scheduled for February 17-18th, which will focus on “Education and Skills Development in Africa.”

While education takes center stage under the leadership of AU Commission President Moussa Faki Mahamat, President Mohamud’s agenda extends beyond the official theme. He is expected to address the controversial agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland, which grants Ethiopia access to the Red Sea through Somaliland (North East of Somalia) territory, a move perceived by Somalia as a violation of its territorial integrity. The ongoing fight against the Al-Shabaab militant group and other pressing issues are also likely to be raised.

The official press release from Villa Somalia emphasized President Mohamud’s commitment to engaging in critical dialogues on matters such as peace and security, economic integration, and climate change. The summit provides a platform for collaboration and the exploration of solutions to these shared challenges.

Beyond participating in plenary sessions, President Mohamud is expected to engage in bilateral meetings with various heads of state and government, fostering diplomatic relations and seeking new partnerships. Discussions around issues of mutual interest, both locally and regionally, are anticipated.

The press release explicitly stated Somalia’s unwavering stance on respecting the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity. President Mohamud reaffirmed his commitment to continental unity, peace, and development. He is expected to reiterate Somalia’s position that any agreements impacting its territorial integrity must comply with international law and respect its sovereignty.

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