Somalia: Inside Hassan Sheikh's unscheduled speech in Parliament


MOGADISHU, Somalia - President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud will make an unscheduled speech in Parliament on Wednesday (today), Speaker Adan Sheikh Mohamed Madobe confirmed, in what comes at the time the country is struggling with relations with neighboring Ethiopia.

Ethiopia signed an agreement with the breakaway region of Somaliland, sparking a heated debate on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia, with Addis Ababa keen to 'annex' parts of the Horn of Africa nation along the Red Sea.

Multiple sources within Villa Somalia told Garowe Online that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud will detail a maritime defense agreement between Somalia and Turkey in today's parliamentary session. The session will start this morning.

The pact, signed for 10 years, will involve Turkish Naval Forces operating in Somali waters for defense purposes, sources claimed. The Defense Ministers of Somalia and Turkey inked this strategic security agreement on February 8th.

This announcement comes amid heightened tensions between Somalia and Ethiopia, following Ethiopia’s signing of a controversial MOU with the breakaway region of Somalia. Ethiopia maintains that it is only interested in commercial interests in Somalia.

But in return, Somalia wants the United Nations and the African Union to take a position on the matter, noting that Ethiopia's attitude is dangerous for unity and prosperity in the Horn of Africa. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is faulted for escalating diplomatic rifts in the region.

Turkey has been a key ally of Somalia for the last decade by actively participating in the rebuilding of the national army and security. The elite GorGor troops who are instrumental in the fight against Al-Shabaab are trained by Turkey.

The address will perhaps send signals to Ethiopia over plans to annex part of Somalia, with Turkey now coming in for defense purposes. Last month, Egypt also maintained that it will defend Somalia's territorial integrity and sovereignty at 'all costs'.


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