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Arab League to convene emergency meeting to discuss tensions between Somalia, Ethiopia

League to hold online meeting at ministerial level

10:26 - 15/01/2024 Pazartesi
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File Photo
File Photo

The Arab League announced Sunday that it will convene an emergency virtual ministerial meeting to discuss tensions between Somalia and Ethiopia.

Arab League Deputy Secretary-General Hossam Zaki announced that the regional organization will hold the meeting on Jan. 17, Egypt's official news agency MENA reported.

Zaki said the meeting will address the consequences of an "unlawfully" signed agreement between Ethiopia and Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland granting Addis Ababa operational privileges in northwest Somalia's Red Sea area.

He said Morocco will preside over the meeting, adding the decision to convene it was made at the request of Somalia with the support of 12 Arab countries.

He also expressed full consensus and support for Somalia's stance.

Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre said Saturday that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) is "invalid" and issued a warning to Ethiopia against any intervention in Somali territories.

Following Ethiopia's maritime agreement in early January with Somaliland, the Somali government recalled its ambassador from Ethiopia.

Several Arab League member countries including Egypt declared their rejection of the agreement and expressed support for Somalia's sovereignty over its territories.

Somaliland, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991, permitted Ethiopia to use its shores for commercial and military purposes through the MoU signed on Jan. 1, including the strategic Red Sea port of Berbera.

Somaliland announced that Ethiopia would recognize it as an independent state upon 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.


#Arab League
#emergency meeting
#ethiopia
#Hamza Abdi Barre
#Hossam Zaki
#Red Sea
#Somalia
#Somaliland
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