Somalia-Ethiopia Standoff Intensifies Amid Mounting Tensions

Ethiopian diplomatic personnel in other autonomous regions of the country, such as Hargeisha and Garowe, have also been expelled back to Addis Ababa.

On Wednesday, Somalia expelled the Ethiopian ambassador, Mukhtar Mohamed, due to tensions since the port agreement with the separatist region of Somaliland.

The conflict that led to this diplomatic rupture was the lease agreement of 20 miles of coastal territory by Ethiopia to Somaliland, a region that has had effective autonomy since 1991.

The area occupied by Addis Ababa would be the Gulf of Aden. Ethiopia would use the coastal enclave for military and commercial purposes for 50 years, according to the signed agreement. In return, Ethiopia would consider recognizing Somaliland as an independent State of Somalia.

On the other hand, the Somali Government claims Somaliland as its territory and accused Ethiopia of land grabbing and attempts to annex Somali territories to Addis Ababa.

The President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, declared that, “Somalia stands firm in its sovereignty” also indicated, that his country would “defend itself” if Ethiopia continues with the agreement.

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