The Ethiopian government did not hint whether the relation with Somalia has faced setbacks. Former Al-Shabab top man is appointed to cabinet minister position
When the newly elected Somali leader Hassan Sheik Mohamud skipped the scheduled trip to Ethiopia in July this year, it appeared as if it had something to do with unforeseen circumstances on the part of Ethiopia as the Prime Minister was not seen in public for weeks. There are still no indications, whatsoever, that Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov met with Abiy Ahmed when he visited Addis Ababa last month.
The cancellation of Somalia’s new president’s visit to Ethiopia seems to have a political reason.
An Opinion piece that appeared on The Conversation makes claims that the relation between Addis Ababa and Hassan Sheik Mohamud ‘s government of Somalia is not on good terms.
In an article titled Alarm as Somalia’s Hassan Sheikh Mohamud sours ties with Ethiopia,” Mohamed Haji Ingiriis,
Visiting Professor at African Leadership Center, King’s College London, University of Oxford, made claims that the relation between Somalia and Ethiopia has soured.
According to the writer, Hassan Sheik’s decision to appoint a former deputy to Al-Shabab top commander, Mukjtar Mansur,to a cabinet position is one of the reasons.
It is also said that Ethiopia has already started, in reaction to the decision on the part of Somalia’s government, to directly engage with Federal regions in Somalia by-passing the Federal government.
The author claimed that the president of the South West region of Somalia, Abd Aziz Lafta. The man is said to be a staunch supporter of Mohammed Abdulahi Mohammed (Formajo) who lost the election to Hassan Sheiks.
Mr. Abd Lafta was flown to Addis Ababa, Mohamed Haji Ingiriis claimed in the opinion piece he published on “The Conversation.”
The Ethiopian government has not yet remarked on it.
Somalia’s new president Hassan Sheik Mohamud visited capitals in the region, including the Eritrean capital Asmara, last month. He was also in Egypt last week where he had conversations about, among other things, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
It is to be recalled that the militant Al-Shabab group launched a cross-border attack against Ethiopia and was reported to be reaching up to 150 kilometers deep inside the Ethiopian border with the aim to collaborate with the radical ethnic Oromo Nationalist Group that the Ethiopian government calls Shane.
The Ethiopian government made claims that it killed more than 800 Al-Shabab fighters in a joint operation with local security forces in Southeastern Ethiopia. Further claims were made that up to 20 top and mid-level Al-Shabaab commanders were killed during the operation.
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