Somalia recalls ambassador to Ethiopia, terms Addis Ababa actions "illegal"

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MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Federal Republic of Somalia has recalled the ambassador to Ethiopia for "consultation" following Addis Ababa's decision to sign a memorandum with Hargeisa, which has triggered a fresh diplomatic tiff between the two neighboring countries.

In a shocking move, Ethiopia signed an agreement with Somaliland, the breakaway region of Somalia, which would allow it to access 20 kilometers of the Red Sea for the next 50 years with Somaliland expected to be recognized by Ethiopia as a sovereign country.

So divisive was the move that Mogadishu had to convene an emergency cabinet meeting on Tuesday to discuss Addis Ababa's actions. While President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud addressed parliament, Prime Minister Hamsa Abdi Barre deliberated the matter with the cabinet.

According to state media, the cabinet described Ethiopia's actions as "territorial violation and illegal", and subsequently, recalled the Somali Ambassador to Ethiopia for "consultation".

"Prime Minister Hamza expressed their determination to protect their sovereignty and said that no one could violate any part of Somalia’s land, sea, and air," state media further reported after the meeting.

Later, in a statement released from cabinet, PM Hamza Barre urged the people of Somalia to stay "calm" noting that the government is determined to defend “every inch” of Somalia’s territory. “There is nothing to be afraid of,” he said after a cabinet meeting, urging Somali people to unite.

The Somali government said Ethiopia’s move is a “naked aggression” that violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia. Somalia says Ethiopia’s actions threaten good neighborliness and peace and stability in the region.

While summoning an ambassador to Ethiopia, Somalia urged the UN Security Council and the African Union to convene an emergency meeting on Ethiopia’s actions. The UN Security Council is responsible for matters of security and stability.

Ethiopia’s actions had been condemned by several quarters including former President Mohamed Farmaajo along with IGAD Deputy Secretary Mohamed Abdi Waare. Notably, Al-Shabaab extremists also dismissed Ethiopia’s actions as "uncouth".

For some time, Ethiopia has been threatening to infringe on territories of neighbors in search for access to Red Sea, with Eritrea warning it against such actions. Ethiopia is fighting to have access to sea in what could be reprisals to Djibouti over access to the port.

GAROWE ONLINE

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