One week after the announcement of an agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland, Somalia, which does not recognize the independence of Somaliland, is intensifying its diplomatic efforts. Following engagements with Eritrea, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is expected in Egypt. Here’s a breakdown of the situation.
Tensions persist in the Horn of Africa a week after Ethiopia and Somaliland revealed the signing of a memorandum of understanding. The agreement, as claimed by Somaliland, grants Ethiopians access to the Red Sea in exchange for recognition of the self-proclaimed republic, which declared independence in 1991. Since then, Somaliland’s status has been a source of conflict with Mogadishu authorities.
Over the past few days, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud has been seeking support from regional countries. His next stop is Cairo, as announced by the Somali presidency on January 8th. A delegation from Egypt conveyed the concern of President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi in a meeting with President Mohamoud on Sunday.
Returning from Asmara this morning, where he met Eritrean President Issayas Afewerki, Mohamoud, and Afewerki agreed on “complementary cooperation in the region, refraining from reacting to various provocative programs,” according to the Eritrean Ministry of Information.
Both Egypt and Eritrea have complex relationships with Ethiopia. Egypt is concerned about a dam being constructed by Addis Ababa on the Nile, while Eritrea has not reconciled with its neighbor since gaining independence in 1993.
Meanwhile, the Djiboutian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement emphasizing its commitment to the territorial integrity of all members of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the regional organization for the Horn of Africa. Djibouti urges the two countries to seek a resolution through dialogue.
The day before, the Chief of Staff of Ethiopia and Somaliland met in Addis Ababa to discuss “military cooperation.” The situation continues to unfold as regional players navigate the complexities of this evolving diplomatic landscape.