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Eritrea, Somalia to consolidate “robust and all-rounded bilateral ties of cooperation”

Member of Somalia National Army receiving Air Force training in Eritrea 

Eritrea _ Somalia _ relation
Eritrean president Isaias Afeworki (right) with Somali counterpart, Hassan Sheik Mohammed (Photo : Social Media/Eritrea Ministry of Information)

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Toronto – President of Somalia, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who arrived in Eritrea on Monday – for the second time in less than six months – reportedly had extensive discussion with President Isaias Afeworki. 

Yemane Geremeskel, Eritrea’s Minister for Information, on Tuesday, announced that the two leaders discussed ways of “strengthening of bilateral ties and other matters of mutual interest.” 

Relations between Eritrean leaders and Somalia goes back to the times of  Mohamed Siad Barre’s administration. In the 1980’s Eritrean president Isaias Afeworki and Meles Zenawi, TPLF leader, lived in Somalia, and they were handled by the Somali National Security Service. 

“President Isaias invoked the historical ties between Eritrea and Somalia and underlined the imperative of consolidating robust and all-rounded bilateral ties of cooperation that advance the interests of both peoples, especially in the political, security, military, economic, cultural, and social sectors,” Yemane wrote on social media page. 

 A remark Abiy Ahmed made in connection with access to the sea sometime in October 2023 created tension in the region. But the tension heightened when Abiy Ahmed’s government signed a memorandum of understanding with Somaliland on January 1, 2024. The deal would give Ethiopia access to the sea as Somaliland offered a 20-kilometer stretch of coastal land on a fifth-year lease term while Ethiopia would recognize the independence of Somaliland in return for it. 

Somalia saw the deal as a violation of its sovereignty and started a diplomatic and political campaign in the region and beyond against Ethiopia. Eritrea was one of the countries where Hassan Sheikh traveled to after the development in January 2024. 

Even before the Memorandum understanding between Ethiopia and Somaliland, Eritrea has been training thousands of Somali troops in a move to support the government of Somalia. 

President Hassen Sheikh concluded his working visit to Eritrea and returned to Somalia on Tuesday. Mr. Yemane called Hassan Sheik’s latest visit to Eritrea “ fruitful.”  Before he started his return trip, Hassan Sheikh met with Somalia National Army members who are taking air force training in Asmara.  

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3 COMMENTS

  1. The Eritrean air force is said have the latest military jets available anywhere. It is also reported that they have been able to modify the latest SU-49 fighter jets that stretched their range up to 15,000 miles. There are 50 SU-29, 75 SU-35 and 120 SU-49’s in their arsenal. That means they can strike Cape Town in one sortie and return to their bases safely without the need for refueling. O, I almost forgot about this. There were also able to convert all their fighter jets, helicopter gun ships and every aircraft in their depot with stealth technology. Ethiopia, you’re toast; Djibouti, you’re toast; South Africa, you’re toast. There is a way to work things out to avoid Eritrea’s ire. Ethiopia must pay the 250 billion in US dollars it owes Eritrea. Some of that is to compensate for Ethiopia’s invasion of an independent Eritrea in 1941 at the Battle of Keren. Please note that I did not say ‘Karen’. I wrote Keren. Hey Ethiopia, you better cough it up, pronto. I’m trying to say something in Italian here, the lingua franca of our neighbors to the north.

  2. Poor Isaias will end his days on earth creating misery for everyone. I am trying to think of one instance where he did not engage in fomenting regional trouble. His legacy will be a legacy of death and destruction.

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