Army chiefs from Somaliland and Ethiopia meet amidst tensions


The leaders of the Ethiopian army and the self-declared Republic of Somaliland are talking about working together militarily. People are worried about a deal that could let Ethiopia have a naval base on the Gulf of Aden.

On January 1st, both sides agreed to let Ethiopia use the sea for trade and military purposes.

Somalia said it was a mean thing to do.

It thinks that Somaliland belongs to it and promised to protect its control.

Somaliland used to be controlled by Britain. In 1991, it broke away from Somalia. But other countries do not officially recognize it as its own country.

Ethiopia’s military leader Birhanu Jula met with Somaliland’s military leader Nuh Ismael Tani to talk about working together. The meeting took place on Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Somaliland and Ethiopia signed an agreement to let Ethiopia use part of Somaliland’s coast for a naval base.

Somaliland has agreed that in return, Ethiopia will acknowledge it as an independent country in the future.

Ethiopia has not said yes or no about this. Instead, they are thinking about it and will decide later about whether to support Somaliland’s effort to be recognized.

Somalia thinks the MoU is an attack on its land. On Sunday, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told people to get ready to defend the country.

The African Union and the US are trying to reduce tensions.

Somalia’s friends, such as Egypt and Turkey, have promised to help Somalia.

Ethiopian and Somaliland soldiers met in Addis Ababa. At the same time, Mr Mohamud was in Eritrea talking with Isaias Afwerki in Asmara.

The official statements did not directly talk about Ethiopia’s agreement with Somaliland, but it is probably that they discussed the matter.

Eritrea said the two leaders agreed to work together with patience and a positive attitude, while not reacting to provocative things.

On Monday, President Mohamud’s office said the two leaders will talk about things that will help both of them.


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