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Somalia's prime minister warns Ethiopia against intervening in his country’s territories

15 January 2024 21:45 (UTC+04:00)
Somalia's prime minister warns Ethiopia against intervening in his country’s territories

Somalia’s prime minister warned Ethiopia on Sunday not to intervene in Somali territories, Azernews reports, citing Anadolu Agency.

In a statement during a program in the capital Mogadishu, Hamza Abdi Barre emphasized that a sea access agreement signed earlier this month between Ethiopia and Somaliland is void.

He stressed that if Ethiopia intervenes in Somali territories, it must bear the consequences.

"Ethiopia cannot interfere in Somali lands. If they attempt such an intervention, they will withdraw carrying their dead. Somali territories cannot be obtained through songs or threats," he said.

The Somali government had recalled its ambassador from Ethiopia after the country signed the sea access agreement with Somaliland, which unilaterally declared its independence from Somalia in 1991.

Through the memorandum of understanding signed on Jan. 1, Somaliland permitted Ethiopia to use its coasts for both commercial and military purposes, including the strategic Red Sea port of Berbera.

Somaliland had also announced that Ethiopia would recognize its independence with the finalization of the agreement.

In response, hundreds of people in Somalia protested against Ethiopia, including a number of prominent Somalis.

Ethiopia lost its Red Sea ports in the early 1990s after the Eritrean War of Independence, which lasted from 1961 to 1991.

In 1991, Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia, leading to the establishment of two separate nations. The separation resulted in Ethiopia losing direct access to the Red Sea and key ports.

Ethiopia has since been landlocked, affecting its ability to conduct efficient maritime trade.

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