Ethiopia-Somaliland MOU to enter implementation stage despite Somalia’s outcry – Source

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HARGEISA (KAAB TV) – Ethiopia and Somaliland are expecting to announce the implementation of their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in early July, Somaliland officials told Kaab TV.

The MOU, signed on January 1, 2024, grants Ethiopia naval access to the Red Sea and the use of Berbera port, while Somaliland is to gain recognition as an independent country by Ethiopia.

Despite protests from Somalia’s government in Mogadishu, sources in Hargeisa say the MOU’s implementation could lead to Addis Ababa’s full recognition of Somaliland.

A technical committee, assigned by Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi to analyze the MOU, conduct public outreach, and make final recommendations, has completed its report. A presidential source confirmed that the committee’s report was favorable.

“Somaliland on its side is ready and waiting for the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed once he gets the final go-ahead from his parliament,” said a Somaliland source.

Committee members visited Seylac, Berbera, and Lughaya, which are areas reportedly mentioned in the MOU where Ethiopia could establish a naval base to access the Red Sea.

Berbera, the main seaport of Somaliland, is set to handle 90% of Ethiopia’s imports and exports once the MOU is in effect.

A road corridor connecting Berbera to the Wajaale border between Ethiopia and Somaliland is also planned.

In a phone call on June 12, the Qatari Emir offered to mediate between Mogadishu and Addis Ababa, but the effort faced obstacles.

The MOU’s implementation has accelerated after two mediation attempts between Ethiopia and Somalia failed.

In a phone call, the Qatari Emir offered to mediate between Mogadishu and Addis Ababa, but the effort faced obstacles.

Similarly, Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh sent his foreign minister to Addis Ababa to propose a meeting between Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, but this offer also did not succeed.

President Mohamud was briefed about this obstacle when he met Guelleh in Djibouti on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, on June 17, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in an attempt to mediate talks between Somalia and Ethiopia.

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