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Somalia : ethiopian ambassador expelled, orders closure of two consulates

Somalia expelled the Ethiopian ambassador from its territory and closed the Ethiopian consulates in the states of Puntland and Somaliland. In a statement on April 4, 2024, Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre declared that « the Ethiopian government’s blatant interference in Somalia’s internal affairs constitutes a violation of Somalia’s independence and sovereignty« . Tensions between Somalia and Ethiopia are mounting, as the autonomous region of Puntland and Ethiopia signed several economic cooperation agreements on April 3, 2024.

On April 4, 2024, Somalia expelled the Ethiopian ambassador, Muktar Mohamed Ware, from its territory and closed the Ethiopian consulates in the states of Puntland and Somaliland. Tensions between the two countries in the Horn of Africa are escalating as the autonomous region of Puntland and Ethiopia signed trade, investment, energy and infrastructure agreements on April 3, 2024. In a statement, the Somali government accuses Ethiopia of interfering in Somalia’s internal affairs, which it regards as a violation of Somalia’s sovereignty.

« Ethiopia, which has lost its seafront since Eritrea’s independence, absolutely needed a maritime outlet. So it signed this agreement to gain access to Somalia’s coastline, except that Somalia is a separatist region that is not recognized by any country in the world. The solution would be for the two regional powers, Ethiopia and Kenya, which are in contact with Somaliland on the one hand and Puntland on the other, to help Somalia resolve its internal problem before signing any agreement with them, because the current agreement signed by Ethiopia is eminently opportunistic. »

Kerwin MAYIZO, Political analystDR Congo

Diplomatic tensions between Somalia and Ethiopia have intensified since the signing of a port agreement between the breakaway region of Somaliland and the Ethiopian government on January 1, 2024. Ethiopia agreed to recognize Somaliland as an independent nation. The agreement, allowing Ethiopian maritime access via the Somali port of Berbera, was strongly criticized by the Somali government, which saw the partnership as a violation of Somalia’s territorial integrity and independence. On April 5, 2024, the autonomous states of Puntland and Somaliland rejected the order to close the Ethiopian consulates in Garowe and Hargeisa, stating that the federal government had no jurisdiction to take such a decision.

« The decision rendered in Mogadishu on April 4, 2024 was not taken in the best interest of the Somali nation. It appears to be motivated by hostility, animosity and harassment against the people of Puntland, with the aim of undermining the federalization of Somalia. »

Presidency of Puntland, Somalia

In the April 4 communiqué, the Somali executive gave diplomats and Ethiopian government employees working in the two consulates in Garowe and Hargeisa a one week notice to leave the country. Somalia had recalled its ambassador to Ethiopia following the rejection of the port agreement between Somaliland and Ethiopia.


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