Hassan Sheikh: Abiy Ahmed's actions, will trigger Al-Shabaab resurgence

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MOGADISHU, Somalia - The decision by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to seek a coalition with Somaliland will provoke a resurgence of Al-Shabaab militants, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud opines, while dismissing the union as a "violation of Somalia’s sovereignty".

In his address to parliament on Tuesday, Hassan Sheikh said Al-Shabaab found footing in Somalia following Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s intervention. He said that it was unjust to give them another chance after they had been defeated.

"Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, I say that the intervention of Meles Zenawi in Somalia birthed Al-Shabaab. Today, when we defeated Al-Shabaab, another opportunity to create for them is not right,” he stated.

Al-Shabaab militants have been on the receiving end following military operations in the region which have left thousands of militants dead. Ethiopia is a Troops Contributing Country and has been playing a crucial role in the elimination of the group.

The Ethiopian National Army has also had difficult times in blocking Al-Shabaab from trying to infiltrate Eastern parts but has previously succeeded. Ethiopia reached an agreement with Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia, which would see the latter cede 20 kilometers of coastline to the former.

The agreement, media reports indicate would see Ethiopia in return recognise Somaliland as a sovereign state. The move has angered Somalia which insists no single inch of her territorial integrity will be given to Ethiopia, a landlocked nation in the Horn of Africa.

“Somalia belongs to Somalis. We have always defended our territorial integrity and sovereignty, and we will assert our exclusive rights per international laws. We will protect every inch of our sacred land and not tolerate attempts to relinquish any part of it," Hassan Sheikh said.

“As a Government, we have condemned and rejected the illegal infringement of Ethiopia into our national sovereignty and territorial integrity yesterday. Not an inch of Somalia can or will be signed away by anybody. Somalia belongs to the Somali people. This is final."

The conflict is likely to trigger fresh diplomatic tiff in the Horn of Africa given that Somaliland is not internationally recognised as a sovereign state. Over decades, the region has been fighting for statehood, a move which it insists will be activated by Ethiopia.

GAROWE ONLINE

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