Thursday, July 25, 2024
HomeNewsSomaliland Chief of Staff Visits Ethiopia, Meets FM Berhanu Jula

Somaliland Chief of Staff Visits Ethiopia, Meets FM Berhanu Jula

Ethiopia - Somaliland
Ethiopian Defense Chief of Staff, Berhanu Jula (left) and Somaliland Defense Chief, Major General Nuh Ismail Than (right) (Photo : ENA)

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Somaliland’s Chief of Staff, Major General Nuh Ismail Than, has arrived in Ethiopia for a working visit. The Defense Force announced on Monday that Ethiopian Defense Chief of Staff, Field Marshal Berhanu Jula, held a meeting with him at the Defense Force Headquarters in the capital, Addis Ababa.

They discussed military cooperation without divulging many details, according to the announcement.

The visit of Somaliland’s Defense Chief of Staff to Ethiopia coincided with the visit of Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to Asmara. The latter has visited Asmara more than three times in less than a year. Eritrea has provided training to thousands of soldiers for Somalia.

Soon after Ethiopia ended no-peace-no-war relations with Eritrea in 2018, discussions on regional cooperation were initiated between Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia. However, the relationship between Abiy Ahmed’s administration notably regressed, particularly after the Ethiopian Prime Minister made claims in November 2023 regarding the Red Sea.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed last week between the Ethiopian government and Somaliland has heightened political and military tension in the region. Somalia has condemned it, asserting that it represents a “violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of their country. Egypt and Turkey have used this development to express allegiance to Somalia.

The finalized agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland, if the MoU is ratified – expected to occur within a month – will grant Ethiopia a fifty-year lease on twenty kilometers of coastal land from Somalia. Ethiopia intends to use it as a military base and for maritime commercial purposes. In return, Ethiopia is to provide a stake from its national assets, such as Ethiopian Airlines and Ethio-Telecom, recognizing Somaliland.  Somaliland is as old as Eritrea as a state but it has been lacking recognition from the international community despite they had been undertaking elections. 

Concerns persist that this agreement could spark a regional conflict. Both state and non-state actors have been urging peaceful negotiations to resolve differences between Ethiopia and Somalia.

The East African reported this past weekend that the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s phone call to the Somalian president was declined.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. This is not a good sign. Does the region need or deserve this jolting controversy at this time? I don’t think so. Does Ethiopia need an access to sea that will comparably accommodate its expected growth economically? Of course yes. But someone has jumped the gun with this MOU. Somaliland military chief is in Addis/Finfine now and Somalia’s president is heading to Asmara after he slammed the phone on PM Abiy. No, I don’t like this tense environment.

    Concerned parties have been telling all of us that The Horn of Africa is a powder keg so primed to potentially blow up. All it needs is some troublesome hand to spark the flint. I hope and pray this is not it! I call upon US Special Envoy to the region H.E. Mr. Mike Powers to head to the HOE and calm the raging waters over there. I am making the same calls to The UN and EU to send their reps and try diffuse this tension. The issue of Somaliland has been both a headache and nightmare for policy makers everywhere. Damn you do, damn you don’t quagmire. The people of Somaliland have been extremely successful in creating and maintaining a peaceful, stable and democratic governance for over 30 years now. Meanwhile, the rest of Somalia has been a slaughterhouse and a den of of one of the most barbaric terrorist groups in the world. You can hear a pin drop in Somaliland. So what do you do with it? Let the rest of Somalia over run it and murder hundreds of thousands in the process? Don’t forget Taiwan. Don’t forget Moldova, Georgia, Finland, Poland, Mongolia and when the rampage rages on, The Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and others will be on the menu. Boy, boy, boy! I can feel it! I can see how the case of Somaliland can be a throbbing incubus to every policy maker everywhere.

    My personal and honest suggestion is for my very dear Somali brothers and sisters to come together and sort their differences out for the good of their people and the region at large. It is time for some of you loud mouthed bigots and self acclaimed ‘Horn of Africa policy experts’ to stifle your self and refrain from spewing around poison and gasoline over a smoldering fire from your safe and comfy homes in California, Minnesota, Michigan and Dubai. Just mum’s the word!!!

  2. Ittu Aba Farda
    I totally agree with you man. This is not good sign nor is it sane one. It seems though this is nothing short of the mad King wanabe of Abiy is own making but we will see how far he can go and fool the people and the wold. FYI , Somalia federal goverment mentioned and appealed to somali opposition armed groups and other nationalist inside the Somali Region population in Ethiopia unless Abiy relented and if he continues his belligerence.and invasion towards Somalia’s sovereign borders. The despots Isias and Ghele of Djibouti are likewise, There would be war inferno, lot of destruction and death, and proxy war for years to come that no one can predict which sis3 or state and honcho among them would prevail in the end. god forbid ¡

    • Dear Plainview,

      From what I hear from various sources this MOU has been in the work-in-process for quite some time. Now it is revealed that every leader in the region had a wind of it weeks and some of them months before the day of the announcement. Now it is official and everyone else is doing a CYA a popular term with engineers. Gently put that ‘cover your base’ thing. But do I think it is a spark for commotion? Yes I do. Is it the right time? Personally I don’t think so. But there is one fact about this MOU and also about all MOU’s. MOU is just an MOU that is not expected to be legally binding. I wish it was not done at all. Now hostile regime in Cairo will have an excuse to bank roll and arm these bigoted hooligans already wreaking havoc in that country. This MOU was announced just a few weeks after the UN lifted the armed embargo imposed in Somalia for decades and now el-Sisi will use that to arm that country to the teeth. I have been wondering how our dear Eritrean brothers and sisters react to this miscalculation. I hope the regime in Asmara does jump on the bandwagon and present itself to Al-Qahirah. But I am counting on Brother Isaias Afwerki. I remember one of his press conferences in which he exposed Egypt’s main reason for supporting him zealously during his days in the bushes. For me what happens in side Eritrea it is our Eritrean brothers and sisters’ business. If you ask me about what is going on inside Eritrea, my response will be ‘Who won the 1904 and 1994 World Series?’

      Please join me in my daily prayers that this diplomatic debacle does erupt in a raging fire that will engulf the entire region. Thank you for staying so civil in your conversation with me. Blessings to you and your family!

  3. Egypt, as expected, has jumped on the bandwagon condemning the MOU between Somaliland and Ethiopia. That means the door in Al-Qahirah is officially wide open for these bigoted armed savage group to go there and scavenge at the dumpsites there for arms, training and bags of bread crumbs. Egypt will never let up in its interfering in Ethiopia’s internal affairs until Ethiopia is wiped off the map of the earth and its people expunged from the area; gone for good. The thing is Brother President Isaias knew this ambition of Egypt the day he took to the bushes. He did not spare a word talking about that in one of his press interviews a few years ago. To me that is maturity worth a commendation. That is my personal and independent opinion. Now some of you may jump on me for praising Brother President Isaias and try to tell me he did this and that. As I have said umpteen times before what is going on inside Eritrea is my Eritrean brothers and sisters’ business. Not mine. If you ask me to say a word or two about that I will ask you to tell me who won the 1942 and 1946 World Cups.

    Now having said that I call upon my Somali brothers and sisters to stand above the fray and engage in a calm and collected dialogue with brothers and sisters in Somaliland and Ethiopia. I am behind you 100% about the inviolable rights to your sovereignty without losing the respect for the hard fought aspiration to those in Somaliland. I also strongly believe that you have the intellectual horsepower to sort things out among yourselves. That is because I know you close and personal my entire life. War is not the option but peaceful coexistence should be the way forward. Level heads will prevail. Insha’Allah!!!

  4. Peace, peace, peace and more unabated peace! Let’s monger peace! Let’s monger harmony in us, for us and among us Horn Africans! Insha’Allah!!!!!

  5. Ittu Aba Farda
    You are right most part but as you mentioned it the big question is whether this is the right time
    and course and path for Abiy go ? Absolutely not. It is neither ideal time for ethiopian nor for Somalia because they are both experiencing some difficulties of socio-seconomic and political issues, needless to say the some environmental and demographic challenges.. Now, this guy calling himself an army chief of Somali land has no known and professionally trained army at all nor has he any military assets, logistical capabilities and battle equipment to even qualify functioning force. The few thousands of ragtag tribal militia , who buy their own person handguns and camp boots, have bee routed and decimated in the skirmishes and fighting against the neighboring tribal militia of the SSC or Khatumo region. All he is beggiing now from Abiy is weapons to fend off his tribal turf around centre area against rival clans and if ethiopia tries to invade the region most of the fighting and therefore casualties would its own. Notoe, the opposing other sides and proxies would start meddling in ethiopian affairs in return and would supply arms to opposition factions within that would create dangerous political instability and more fractured society.

  6. Ittu Aba Farda
    You are right in most part but as you mentioned it the big question is whether this is the right time
    and course and path for Abiy to go ? Absolutely not. It is neither ideal time for ethiopia nor for somalia because they are both experiencing some difficulties of socio-seconomic and political issues, needless to say some environmental and demographic challenges.. Now, this guy calling himself an army chief of Somali land has no known and professionally trained army at all nor has he any military assets, logistical capabilities and battle equipment to even qualify functioning force. The few thousands of ragtag tribal militia , who buy their own personal handguns and camp boots, have been routed out and decimated few months ago in the skirmishes and fighting against the neighboring tribal militia of the SSC or Khatumo region. All he is begging for now from Abiy is weapons to fend off his tribal turf around centre area against rival clans and if ethiopia tries to invade the region most of the fighting and thus casualties would be its own. Note that, the opposing other sides and proxies would start meddling in ethiopian affairs in return and would supply arms to opposition factions within that would create dangerous political instability and more fractured society.

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