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Thousands gather in Mogadishu as Somalia protests Ethiopia-Somaliland maritime agreement

Thursday January 11, 2024


Mogadishu (HOL) - Thousands of Somalis, along with government officials, took to the streets of Mogadishu on Thursday to protest against an agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland, which they perceive as a threat to Somalia's sovereignty over its land and maritime territory.

The march, which spanned from km 4 to Daljirka-Dahsoon in the capital city, was a significant display of unity and defiance. Protesters carried placards in Somali, English, and Arabic, with emphatic messages like "Our sea is not for sale" and "Somalia belongs to Somalis." These slogans resonated with the crowd's sentiment against Ethiopia's perceived encroachments.

Key figures from the federal government and the Banadir regional administration spearheaded the protest, voicing strong opposition to the recent agreement. Their speeches condemned the deal between Somaliland and Ethiopia as a violation of national sovereignty. The officials reiterated Somalia's readiness to defend its territorial integrity against what they termed as Ethiopia's greed.

This demonstration comes in the wake of the contentious agreement signed in Addis Ababa between the President of Somaliland and the Ethiopian Prime Minister. The pact, viewed by many in Somalia as an implicit recognition of Somaliland by Ethiopia, has sparked widespread outrage and concern.

Security in Mogadishu was notably ramped up for the demonstration, with significant road closures and an increased presence of security forces, reflecting the government's efforts to maintain peace during the large-scale protest.

The convergence of government officials and the general populace in this protest underscores the deep concerns within Somalia about external influences on their sovereignty and territorial rights. 



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