The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, expressed deep concern regarding the diplomatic row between Somalia and Ethiopia on Wednesday after the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, signed a port deal with the breakaway region of Somaliland.
The Executive Secretary urged IGAD leaders to be seized and appealed to the two countries to collaborate towards a peaceful and amicable resolution of the situation, upholding the shared values that unite the IGAD family.
IGAD stated that it remains steadfast in promoting peace, stability, cooperation, and regional integration. It added that it diligently monitors the situation and recognizes the potential implications for regional stability.
Monday’s agreement, signed in Addis Ababa by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi, would clear the way for Ethiopia to set up commercial marine operations giving it access to a leased military base on the Red Sea, Abiy’s National Security adviser Redwan Hussien said.
The Somali government has labelled the deal as “an act of aggression against Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and a direct threat to its maritime resources, vowing to defend them.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud called on the Ethiopian government to cease interfering in Somalia, leading Mogadishu to recall its ambassador to Ethiopia for deliberations, citing concerns that the deal jeopardizes regional stability.
Despite declaring autonomy from Somalia in 1991, Somaliland has not gained widespread international recognition, with Somalia says that Somaliland is part of its territory.