Somali president discusses Ethiopia-Somaliland conflict with AU chairman in Rome

Source: Hiiraan Online, Tuesday January 30, 2024

Mogadishu (HOL) – Amidst increasing tensions in the Horn of Africa, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with the African Union Chairman and Comoros President Azali Assoumani at the Italy-Africa Summit in Rome.

The meeting comes in the wake of a controversial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Ethiopia and the self-declared autonomous region of Somaliland. The MoU, allowing Ethiopia access to the Red Sea port of Berbera, has raised significant concerns over regional stability and security. Somalia has vehemently opposed this agreement, declaring it null and void, and has recalled its ambassador to Ethiopia. According to sources, Somalia’s firm opposition to the agreement formed the backdrop of this high-level engagement. 

In response to the rising tensions, the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC), at its 1192th meeting on January 17, expressed deep concern. The Council emphasized the importance of respecting the unity, territorial integrity, and sovereignty of all its member states, including Ethiopia and Somalia.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, has urged both countries to engage in peaceful negotiations, stressing the need for mutual respect and adherence to the principles of good neighbourliness. This call for dialogue and restraint is seen as vital for maintaining peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.