Somalia Accuses Ethiopian Troops of Border Incursion at UN

Accusations against Ethiopian troops were made by Somalia’s UN envoy on Monday, alleging they illegally crossed the countries’ shared border and confronted local security forces.

Reaffirming its commitment to respecting the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and good neighbourliness, Abukar Osman told the 15-member Security Council, “We expect Ethiopia to do the same by reconsidering its memorandum of misadventure without any further delay.”

Citing Ethiopia’s “destabilising actions” in the wider region, Mr Osman said Mogadishu has had to postpone the withdrawal of troops with the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (Atmis) from July to September. Initially sent to help drive Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabab out of the Somali capital and to support the internationally recognised federal government, Atmis is expected to conclude operations on December 31 after 17 years. The AU force operates under a UN mandate to counter a resurgence of Al Shabab and to train Somali security forces.

Tension between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu has risen, fuelled by an agreement signed in January between Ethiopia and Somaliland, a self-declared republic in northern Somalia. According to the agreement, Ethiopia would formally recognise the Republic of Somaliland in exchange for 20km of access to the Red Sea for Ethiopian naval forces, leased for 50 years. In response, the Arab League convened a ministerial-level emergency session at Somalia’s request, reaffirming that Somaliland is an integral part of the country and categorically rejecting the January agreement.

Somaliland, which broke away from Somalia in 1991, remains internationally unrecognised despite its claim to independence.

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