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HomeOpinionEthiopia and Somaliland: A Deal with Domino Effects

Ethiopia and Somaliland: A Deal with Domino Effects

Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa (from Social Media)

(Essayias Lesanu)

Ethiopia’s recent agreement with the unrecognized state of Somaliland, granting it access to the Red Sea, is a move that has raised eyebrows across the international community. This controversial decision by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government, however, is just the tip of the iceberg in a series of domestic and economic crises plaguing Ethiopia.

Domestically, the Abiy regime has been accused of exacerbating ethnic tensions, particularly targeting the Amhara community and other ethnic groups. Reports of human rights abuses and ethnic violence have marred Ethiopia’s international image and raised questions about the government’s commitment to a cohesive, peaceful, and inclusive national identity. This internal unrest not only destabilizes the nation but also undermines its social fabric, further complicating the task of nation-building. This move by the Abiy regime can be interpreted as an attempt to shift focus from domestic issues. Ethiopia is currently grappling with internal conflicts and economic challenges, including human rights allegations in Amhara and Tigray and a recent default on its debts. By engaging in this agreement, the Ethiopian government seems to be diverting public and international attention away from these pressing issues.

The economic situation in Ethiopia is equally alarming. The country is currently in a state of default on its debts, a situation that reflects deep-seated economic challenges. The Ethiopian currency, the Birr, is facing the threat of devaluation amidst skyrocketing inflation rates. Such economic turmoil not only affects the day-to-day lives of Ethiopians but also casts doubt on the nation’s ability to meet its international obligations and maintain economic stability.

Additionally, the Ethiopian economy’s heavy dependence on foreign aid and donations adds another layer of vulnerability. With the international community increasingly concerned about the government’s human rights record and its handling of internal conflicts, there is a real risk that this vital lifeline could diminish. This would further exacerbate the economic crisis, leading to a vicious cycle of poverty and instability.

The decision to engage with Somaliland must be viewed within this broader context. While seeking access to the Red Sea is a strategic economic move for landlocked Ethiopia, aligning with an entity unrecognized by the international community adds to the nation’s growing list of geopolitical missteps. This not only provokes neighboring countries, particularly Somalia, but also risks alienating key international partners who are crucial for Ethiopia’s economic survival.

Furthermore, aligning with Somaliland could be seen as Ethiopia implicitly supporting its claim of independence, a stance that directly challenges Somalia’s territorial integrity. Somalia, which views Somaliland as part of its sovereign territory, has reacted strongly against this agreement. This has the potential to escalate tensions between Ethiopia and Somalia, and could even draw in other regional players, increasing the risk of a wider conflict.

The potential fallout from this agreement extends beyond diplomatic relations. The heightened tension could scare away foreign investors, wary of instability and unpredictability in the region. For Ethiopia, which is in dire need of foreign investment for its economic growth and development, this is a counterproductive outcome.

Moreover, the possibility of a regional conflict, with countries like Eritrea possibly supporting Somalia against Somaliland and Ethiopia, adds to the already complex and volatile situation in the Horn of Africa. Such a conflict could have disastrous consequences, further destabilizing the region and leading to a humanitarian crisis.

In conclusion, Ethiopia’s agreement with Somaliland, viewed against the backdrop of domestic ethnic strife, human rights concerns, and a precarious economic situation, reflects a risky gamble by the Abiy Ahmed regime. While the quest for Red Sea access is understandable, the method and timing raise serious questions about the government’s priorities and its understanding of regional dynamics. This move could exacerbate Ethiopia’s challenges, both domestically and internationally, potentially leading to further isolation, economic hardship, and instability. The government’s focus should instead be on addressing its internal issues, stabilizing the economy, and fostering a more inclusive and peaceful national environment. 

(The author can be contacted for further comments or inquiries :  Essulesanu@gmail.com)

Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of borkena.com 

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I understand the push back by the authorities in Mogadishu since the MOU was announced last week. They have a case to do that. But I see a double standard here. Where was the outrage when UAE’s DP World secured the ownership of operations at Berbera port? Now some of you may jump on me for asking the question and try to differentiate one from the other. Well, when DP World secured the facility Somaliland was a separate state and calling itself an independent republic. This is a run-of-the-mill double standard by the authorities in Mogadishu. It that because UAE and Somalia are both ‘Arabs’? Let me remind you this millennia old fact. To those ‘Aryans’ wannabes in the Arabian Peninsula, everyone across the Bab-el-Mandeb is an ‘abd’, a nigger!!! Somaliland is Somaliland for whatever it is and no one can live with or without it. When the people of Somaliland say ‘We are citizens of an independent nation’ they mean it. It won’t be a cakewalk for anyone trying to have them renounce it. Authorities in Mogadishu have other similar thorny issues in their current boundaries besides Somaliland. Don’t forget Puntland and others just south of that with vast seashores. It is like someone telling next door ‘Pass the Dutchie, bro!’ Time for them authorities to wake up on the right hand side.

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      The aforementioned post was shared on social media by the president of a company with headquarters in New York. This person is obviously a citizen of the United States of America, yet even so, he makes a single statement that is riddled with sloppy language mistakes and bad word choice.

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      How many times have foreign dignitaries visited Ethiopia in an attempt to put an end to Abiy Ahmed’s massacre of defenseless civilians? He has been selected by and is receiving protection from the United States. He must be brought to the United States and appointed in one of America’s states. Ethiopians do not want him at all.

  2. No doubt, Abiy has exasperated internal conflic and ethnic conflic to dangerous level ever since he come to the office, nothing much to of the economic andv orher societal collapse and bankruptcy incurred that period. One would think that he had enough of it and do some homework and course corrections but tha isn’t vlhappening. Instead of mitigating these dire chaotic situations of his own making , he is instigating more of the same regional and external confrontation and serious conflict l. This shows his actions and behavior defies any logic and character of responsible leadership skillls and line of thinking . The glaring and more vexing question now is what’s his endgame as a leader? What is he thinhg? Is he in the realms of the insanity border a or has he other ultrior sinister motives and project like disfiguring Ethiopia as we all now and replacing with something very diffeeren? That is the milluon dollar questions now.

  3. All this hoopla and silly rage will subside and very few people will remember how it seems intense right now. That is the norm for The HOA. If all the rage in the past had telling consequences Ethiopia should have been all gone by now; Djibouti would have all gone a week after it gained its independence; Eritrea, oh my God, it should have been dead and gone two weeks after it was recognized by the UN and AU. But one thing could have happened if one of the top leaders of the Ethiopian government was born to a mother from the Isaaq clan. Eritrea had Meles on his mother side and the entire went flawless. If there was another top honcho in the then EPRDF born to an Isaaq mother Somaliland could have been a new independent nation to be recognized by The UN and AU right after Eritrea. They just missed the boat just by five minutes. If that was the case we wouldn’t be deafened by this raucous and fake Harimaadee Hana Haban or Hobalo Hoyale from loser reincarnated af-weynes.

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