February 27, 2024

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Strategic Military Collaboration: Ethiopia and Somaliland Discuss Naval Base Amid Growing Concerns

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Ethiopia and Somaliland Discuss Naval Base Amid Growing Concerns

Ethiopia and Somaliland are in discussions regarding a potential military collaboration that includes the establishment of a naval base on the Gulf of Aden. This move has raised concerns and triggered reactions from neighboring countries, notably Somalia. Let’s delve into the details of this strategic military collaboration and the implications it carries.

Background of the Discussion

In a deal signed on January 1st, Ethiopia and Somaliland agreed to grant Ethiopia both commercial and military access to the sea, a move vehemently opposed by Somalia, which considers Somaliland as part of its territory. Ethiopia’s Field Marshal Birhanu Jula and Somaliland’s Maj Gen Nuh Ismael Tani recently held discussions in Addis Ababa regarding potential military cooperation, with a focus on exploring collaboration opportunities between the two entities.

Controversy and Regional Reactions

Somalia has labeled the agreement between Somaliland and Ethiopia as an act of aggression, emphasizing its claim over Somaliland and pledging to defend its sovereignty. Moreover, the African Union and the US have intervened to calm tensions, with Somalia garnering support from allies including Egypt and Turkey. Furthermore, when Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki in Eritrea, the discussions likely touched upon the deal between Ethiopia and Somaliland.

Future Implications and Diplomatic Relations

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Ethiopia and Somaliland, granting a lease for a naval base, has ignited diplomatic tensions and heightened geopolitical dynamics in the region. Notably, the potential recognition of Somaliland’s independence by Ethiopia has been a point of contention. These developments could significantly influence future relationships between Ethiopia, Somaliland, Somalia, and other regional players.

Key Points:

– Ethiopia and Somaliland have engaged in discussions regarding a potential naval base on the Gulf of Aden.
– Somalia strongly opposes the agreement, perceiving it as a threat to its territorial sovereignty.
– The African Union and the US have intervened to mitigate tensions, while Somalia has garnered support from allies including Egypt and Turkey.
– The agreement has the potential to significantly impact diplomatic relations in the region and the efforts towards recognizing Somaliland’s independence.

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