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UN chief meets with Somali President on regional tensions

Latin American News Agency
Thursday January 11, 2024

United Nations, Jan 10 (Prensa Latina) UN Secretary-General (UNSG) António Guterres and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud held talks on Wednesday amid rising tensions over Ethiopia-Somaliland Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

In a phone call, held at the request of the Somali president, both leaders discussed concerns over the MoU on January 1.

Guterres recalled the Security Council’s repeated claims regarding sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Somalia.

At the same time, he urged the parties to a “peaceful and constructive dialogue as well as to refrain from any action that could further worsen the situation.”

Tensions have been rising since the first day of the year when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Somaliland President Muse Bihe Abdi reached a MoU granting Addis Ababa 20 km of access to the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea for a period of 50 years.

Ethiopia, on the other hand, must formally recognize Somaliland, which self-proclaimed its independence from Somalia in 1991, without the United Nations recognizing that region as a state.

The Somali government recalled its ambassador to Ethiopia for consultations and considered this measure as a flagrant violation of its sovereignty and unity.

The Executive further called for the support of the African Union, the Arab League and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development to defend its right to protect its sovereignty and force Addis Ababa to adhere to international laws.


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