Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea spy chiefs in Addis Ababa for secret talks
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Spy chiefs from the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, Eritrea government, and the Federal Government of Somalia are meeting in Addis Ababa for secret talks, Garowe Online has established, just days after leaders from the three nations held talks albeit separately, in what could trigger a crisis.
Save for Eritrea, the other two countries are battling with either pre-election controversy or at least, they are facing internal political challenges with also insecurity hitting them hard. The Horn of Africa nations have for a long time struggled with instability.
For instance, Ethiopia, which postponed August polls due to COVID-19, is currently facing a crisis at the Tigray region, which has already carried out separate elections following the pressure by the Tigray People's Liberation Front [TPLF], which is the prominent political party from the state.
In Somalia, the country, despite having reached a pre-election deal, is still crowded in uncertainty after Western countries failed to endorse the electoral deal, further plunging the country into uncertainty. But Somalia has already settled on the Constituency Caucus model, which is somehow an improved clan-based system.
But it's the meeting that involves the National Intelligence Security Agency [NISA] boss Fahad Yasin and his counterparts from Ethiopia and Eritrea which could raise eyebrows. The three are said to have met in Addis Ababa on Friday and it's not clear for how long they are going to hold talks.
Coincidentally, the meeting comes after President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo's two-day working trip to Asmara last week where he held a meeting with Isaias Afwerki, the president of Eritrea. Asmara and Villa Somalia maintained that the meeting was geared towards improving the bilateral relations between the two nations.
Earlier this week, Afwerki also visited Ethiopia upon "invitation" by Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed, who is considered as "Mr. Fix It" of the Horn of Africa". The two quick successive meetings and that of spy chiefs have raised eyebrows from Somalia's stakeholders, who believe that it could be something to do with elections.
Opposition leaders believe that both Ethiopia and Eritrea could be determined to help Farmajo win the upcoming elections.
Particularly, it's Ethiopia's involvement which is continuously affecting the stability of Somalia given her non-AMISOM contingent has been working in sections of the country without approval by the international community.
The Jubaland administration under Ahmed Islam Mohamed Madobe has persistently accused Addis Ababa of deploying troops to the Gedo region to assist the Somali National Army [SNA] overthrow his administration. The claims were established by the AMISOM after a Kenyan aircraft was downed by the Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] in the Southwest.
Sources say the upcoming elections in Somalia could be the "agenda" of the meeting in Addis Ababa. The elections are scheduled for in February and President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is keen to recapture the seat for the second term amid strong resistance from members of the opposition.