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Somali Prime Minister and officials lead protest against Ethiopia-Somaliland port agreement

Thursday January 11, 2024

Mogadishu (HOL) - Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Bare, Mogadishu Mayor, ministers, and lawmakers joined thousands of protesters in a rally against the recent Ethiopia-Somaliland port agreement in Mogadishu on Thursday.

The protesters, representing diverse sections of society, carried placards with slogans such as "Our sea is not for sale," "Support our land," "We will not give up," and "Our sea is a national treasure and heritage." They also chanted anti-Ethiopia slogans while waving the Somali flag.

The demonstration occurred at the Daljirka Dahsoon monument, a symbol of Somali nationalism, where government officials addressed the protesters, firmly rejecting Ethiopia's port deal agreement with a region in Somalia.

Somalia strongly rejected a port deal signed in Addis Ababa by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi on January 1. The agreement would pave the way for Ethiopia to set up commercial marine operations, giving it access to a leased military base on the Red Sea.

Somaliland has not gained widespread international recognition despite declaring autonomy from Somalia in 1991. Somalia insists Somaliland remains its territory.

The international community, including the US, Turkey, Djibouti, European Union, and African Union, have all called for respect for the territorial integrity of the Federal Government of Somalia. On Tuesday, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said that his Eritrean counterpart Isaias Afwerki has supported Mogadishu's unity and territorial integrity as tensions between Somalia and Ethiopia over a port deal continue.


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