April 16, 2024

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Ethiopia Mulls Withdrawal from a Part of MoU with Somaliland

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Ethiopia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Somaliland on January 1st, causing regional tensions. Initially, it seemed like war might erupt, with Somalia threatening military action. However, recent reports suggest a potential withdrawal by Ethiopia from a specific clause in the MoU.

Controversial Clause

The most contentious part of the MoU is Ethiopia’s recognition of Somaliland. This clause, if withdrawn, could have significant implications. Citing foreign diplomats, Bloomberg claims that Ethiopia is contemplating withdrawing from this provision.

Background

When the MoU was signed, the president of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi, asserted that recognition was a part of the agreement. This was a pivotal and controversial aspect, as Somaliland has long sought international recognition without success.

Ethiopian Flexibility

During a recent visit to Kenya, Bloomberg’s report suggests that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy showed flexibility. There were discussions with Kenyan President William Ruto, and a joint statement emphasizing respect for the region’s integrity and sovereignty was issued.

Potential Withdrawal

Ethiopia is reportedly considering withdrawing from the clause recognizing Somaliland as a country. This decision may be influenced by international and regional pressure, particularly from Somalia, which vehemently opposed the MoU.

Implications and Questions

– If Ethiopia withdraws, how will Somaliland react? Will it remain committed to the remaining parts of the MoU?

– What will be Somalia’s response? Will it accept the other components of the MoU, such as the building of an Ethiopian naval base in Somaliland?

Current Status

As of now, Ethiopia has not officially announced its withdrawal from any part of the MoU. However, top Ethiopian delegations have been visiting Somaliland, indicating ongoing discussions.

Conclusion

The situation is evolving, and the responses from Somaliland and Somalia will play a crucial role in determining the future of the MoU. Ethiopia’s potential withdrawal from the recognition clause complicates a delicate geopolitical scenario.