June 20, 2024

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Frustration of Somaliland with Ethiopia

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As tensions persist in the Horn of Africa, Somaliland is one region experiencing growing frustration. The focal point of this discontent lies in the implementation of an MoU signed on January 1 between Somaliland and Ethiopia. The delay in executing the MoU has left Somaliland seeking answers and recognition.

The MoU

The MoU between Somaliland and Ethiopia signed at the beginning of the year, aimed to give landlocked Ethiopia access to the sea in return for Ethiopia’s recognition of Somaliland as a country. Both sides committed to implementing the agreement within a month. However, as two months have passed, progress has been minimal, leading to frustration in Somaliland.

Commitment of Somaliland

Somaliland has not shied away from expressing its commitment to the MoU. Interior Minister Mohamed Kahin Ahmed emphasized that Somaliland has exceeded expectations in fulfilling its part of the MoU. This commitment is underlined by Somaliland’s eagerness for swift implementation and the potential for diplomatic recognition.

Diplomatic Efforts

The delay has prompted Somaliland to take diplomatic measures. Minister Mohamed Kahin released a statement on social media, indicating that efforts are still underway to implement the MoU. However, the subsequent statement is telling—Somaliland anticipates a similar commitment from its Ethiopian counterparts. This suggests a growing frustration with Ethiopia’s perceived lack of responsiveness.

Recognition and Its Importance

For Somaliland, this MoU represents more than just diplomatic collaboration. It opens the door to a unique opportunity for recognition—a prospect Somaliland has been actively pursuing for decades. The MoU with Ethiopia is a critical step toward achieving this long-awaited acknowledgment internationally.

Ethiopia’s Dragging Feet

The delay in implementation raises questions about Ethiopia’s intentions. While technical committees have been formed and discussions are ongoing, the lack of a signed MoU has left Somaliland uncertain. Ethiopia’s seemingly slow response has fueled Somaliland’s frustration, prompting them to seek answers and reassurance.

The Stakes for Somaliland

Somaliland’s frustration is not merely about the delay in implementing an MoU; it reflects the broader aspirations of a region seeking international recognition. Somaliland sees a real opportunity for acknowledgment for the first time in years. The delay raises concerns about whether Ethiopia will honor its commitment to recognize Somaliland as a sovereign state.


As Somaliland endeavors to navigate the complexities of international diplomacy, the frustration with Ethiopia’s perceived inaction remains a pressing concern. The stakes are high for Somaliland, as the delay hampers bilateral relations and jeopardizes the potential for long-awaited international recognition.

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