Ethiopia is a very important country to Somalia, says Professor


MOGADISHU, Somalia - The cooperation between Somalia and Ethiopia must be enhanced in the coming weeks under the leadership of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was elected as Somalia's president, a top scholar has said, adding that it's important for the two nations to work closely.

Professor Sonkor Geyre, a Think Tank at Somalia’s Institute for Federalism and Security Analysis [IFSA], told Ethiopian News Agency [ENA] that close cooperation between the two countries will enhance development besides promoting the regional peacebuilding initiatives.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud takes over from Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who had signed a number of bilateral agreements with Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. However, a number of Somalis had lost trust in the two leaders.

After his election, the president vowed to “work on a stable politics that lead Somalia to an agreement and the world to agreement.” Mohamud served as 8th president [2012-17] before bouncing back this week.

In an interview with Ethiopia News Agency [ENA], Professor Sonkor Geyre opined that security and trade between the two countries should be the guiding principles of the cooperation between the two countries with a rich history.

Already, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has congratulated Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for his victory and pledged to work closely with the new administration. Similarly, Sheikh Mohamud has acknowledged the olive branch from the Ethiopian leader.

Interestingly, the Tigray People's Liberation Front [TPLF], which has been at loggerheads with Abiy Ahmed, has also welcomed Sheikh Mohamud's victory. The outfit believes he will instil hope in the Horn of Africa given his experience.

Underlining the fact that countries in the Horn of Africa have no other better alternative than integration and cooperation as the region is rich with abundant resources vital for development to improve the lives of the people in the region.

“This region needs to move forward. The region has enough resources, a huge market, and purchasing power, and very rich human resources. What we need is visionary leadership that unifies the common agenda of development.”

Ethiopia is a close partner of the federal republic of Somalia owing to the fact that it has close to 4,000 peacekeepers in the country. The peacekeepers are instrumental in the fight against Al-Shabaab militants who control large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia.

But under the reign of Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed better known as Farmajo, a number of Somalia's opposition leaders, who are now set to form a government, have always accused Addis Ababa of interfering with the country's internal affairs.


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