Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday appeared at the Ethiopian Parliament to answer pre-submitted questions from parliamentarians.
He talked about domestic and international issues. In terms of domestic issues, he framed his answers in a way to demonstrate that his government has done as much as it could in Amhara and Tigray regions to address socio-economic and development issues. Of course, he did not face any challenge. He was rather getting praise. Two crucial dissenting voices in the parliament, from the opposition quarter, are arrested. One of them was arrested about five or so days before Abiy Ahmed’s appearance in the parliament. Sources say he had submitted serious questions in connection with the situation in the Amhara region.
He made a space to brag about his military might using a metaphor. He talked about who went out to hunt for a lion and ended up being devoured by the lion. Insinuating on the support militant groups have in the Amhara and Oromia region, he advised people not to “lean on fog.”
On matters of International Affairs, he talked about Somalia and his tone was excessively pacifist. While emphasizing that his government does not have any interest in fighting against Somalia.
“My guess is the government of Somalia does not have interest in going into conflict with Ethiopia. However, forces who have interest [ on Somalia’s conflict with Ethiopia] want to use Somalia indirectly, We are not convenient for that. We are not ready to utter anything harsh or take actions,” he said.
Abiy Ahmed went on to say that “forces who with that to happen could do something for our Somali brothers just like they opened media for our brothers in the Diaspora. However, they can not make us fight. At least we will not fight on our part.”
He did not name names as to who these powers are. Apparently, Egypt has been attempting to exploit the tension between Somalia and Ethiopia. Somalia President Hassan Sheik was invited to Cairo last month for an official visit. In a joint press conference, the Egyptian President conveyed a message that sounds like Somalia’s Sovereignty is violated ( by the MoU agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland) and that Egypt stands in support of Somalia.
Ethiopia and Somaliland signed a memorandum of understanding on January 1, 2024. What was said at the time was that Somaliland was to provide Ethiopia with a 20 kilometers of coastline – which Ethiopia intends to use as a military and commercial maritime – in return for recognition for Somaliland as a sovereign state and undisclosed percentage of share in Ethio Telecom.
Abiy Ahmed did not remark if his government is going to recognize Somaliland as a sovereign state or as to what the fate of the next step of the Memorandum of Understanding Agreement with Somaliland. Based on disclosure from the Ethiopian government upon the signing of the MoU, the parties to the agreement were meant to finalize it within a month after signing of the MoU.
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