Somalia’s cabinet said on Tuesday that a pact its breakaway region of Somaliland had signed with Ethiopia allowing it to use the Red Sea port of Berbera was null and void, adding that it endangered the region’s stability.

Somalia also recalled its ambassador to Ethiopia for deliberations over the Somaliland port agreement.

Landlocked Ethiopia relies on neighbouring Djibouti for most of its maritime trade.

Monday’s agreement, signed in Addis Ababa by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi, would clear the way for Ethiopia to set up commercial marine operations giving it access to a leased military base on the Red Sea, Abiy’s National Security adviser Redwan Hussien said.

The agreement also included recognising Somaliland as an independent nation in due course.

“Ethiopia’s step … endangers the stability and peace of the region,” Somalia’s cabinet said in a statement after an emergency meeting.

Somaliland has not gained widespread international recognition, despite declaring autonomy from Somalia in 1991. Somalia says Somaliland is part of its territory.

Last week the Somali National News Agency said Somalia and Somaliland had agreed to restart talks to resolve their disputes, following mediation efforts led by Djibouti.

Source: Reuters