Somalia-Ethiopia Conflict: Turkey Steps into the ‘Port Crisis’

Somalia and Ethiopia, neighbors in the Horn of Africa region, held talks on Monday in Ankara in an attempt to reduce rising tensions between the two countries.

The crisis between the two countries escalated following an agreement Addis Ababa reached with Somaliland, providing Ethiopia with a seaport access.

The two sides agreed, in a joint statement published by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to “continue ongoing dialogue to resolve their issues and ensure regional stability.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan told reporters about “good progress” that had been made and expressed “optimism about the future,” while a second round of talks will be held in Ankara on September 2.

The conflict has raised major concerns about the stability of the Horn of Africa region, and several countries and international organizations have called for respect for Somalia’s sovereignty.

Ethiopia was deprived of a coastal outlet after Eritrea seceded from it and declared independence in 1993 following a three-decade-long war.

Relations between the two neighboring countries have been marked by turmoil and regional conflicts for a long time, having fought two wars in the late 20th century.

Tensions escalated earlier this year when Addis Ababa signed a memorandum of understanding with Somaliland, granting Ethiopia – one of the largest landlocked countries in the world – a long-sought seaport access.

Under the memorandum of understanding, Somaliland agreed to lease a 20-kilometer waterfront for 50 years to Ethiopia, which seeks to establish a naval base and commercial port on the coast.

In return, Somaliland, which unilaterally declared independence in 1991, said Ethiopia would officially recognize it, although Addis Ababa has not confirmed this.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button
Verified by MonsterInsights