G7 nations question Ethiopia's intent to 'grab' Somalia’s territory

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ROME, Italy - A group of foreign ministers from the world's major economies have expressed concerns over Ethiopia's recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Somaliland, a region within Somalia that is fighting for international recognition.

The major economic powers led by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as the European Union, urged Ethiopia and Somalia to “keep all channels of dialogue open to prevent further escalation.”

The dialogue, the team insisted, must confine itself to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity as stipulated in the UN Charter. This was the first time the group was stating huge magnitude at the time Somalia is questioning Ethiopia's agenda.

"We express our concern regarding the Memorandum of Understanding between Ethiopia and the Somaliland region of Somalia announced in January 2024," reads the statement issued on Friday.

"We encourage both the Ethiopian and the Federal Government of Somalia to keep all channels of dialogue open to prevent further escalation, working with regional partners, in the framework of the African Union and through bilateral contacts, by international law and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity as enshrined in the UN Charter."

While welcoming the statement, the federal government of Somalia ruled out any room for dialogue, insisting that the government of Ethiopia must first rescind the MoU for any meaningful talks to take place, adding that the country is ready to defend its territorial integrity.

Ethiopia, Somalia added, ought to demonstrate full respect for Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in line with international law to avoid future confrontations. It thanked the international community for supporting Somalia’s stabilization mission.

“Somalia is devoted to upholding peace and security in the region and is eager to bolster its collaboration with the G7 and other international partners to ensure enduring peace and prosperity in the Horn of Africa,” the statement read.

“Dialogue with Ethiopia remains unattainable until it revokes the illegal memorandum of understanding with the northern region of Somalia (Somaliland) and demonstrates full respect for Somalia's unity, sovereignty, and principle of non-interference."

Ethiopia had signed an agreement with Somaliland that allowed it to build a naval base within 20 kilometers along the Red Sea inside Somalia on the pretext that it would reciprocate by recognizing Somaliland as a sovereign state. The country also intends to establish a seaport within Somalia.

GAROWE ONLINE

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