By M.A. Egge

The Minister of the Ministry of Information, Culture and National Guidance who is also the Spokesman of the Government Hon. Ali Hassan Mohamed (Ali Mareehaan), reiterated the fact that there have always been good relations between Somaliland and Ethiopia, which both countries are committed to continue and strengthen.

He gave the sentiments in an interview he gave to the Somali language branch of BBC Radio whereby refuted a statement made by the President of Somalia who alleged that there are currently top Ethiopian officers in the city of Berbera.

“Somaliland and Ethiopia have a long-standing trade, security and relationship partnership, and they are discussing how to strengthen it,” he said.

Minister Ali Hassan mentioned that there is currently a delegation from the Government of Somaliland in Addis Ababa led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Ise Keyd.

He said, “Somaliland delegations are scattered around the world, and it is normal for Somaliland delegations to go to Kenya, Djibouti, the United States and Ethiopia and anywhere else in the world as the case may be; but the delegation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs is in Addis Ababa currently hence continue bolstering the bilateral relations in the interests of both nations”.

The Minister of Information added that President Musa Bihi Abdi has already named an 8-man team that consists of intellectuals and scholars charged with the task of charting forward the MoU agreement entered with the neighbouring country of Ethiopia.

He said that all the members of the said team are currently in the country.

Minister Ali Hassan, who was asked when Somaliland expects the agreement to be completed, said, “It is going well, it will be finalized soon, and it will be presented to the Parliament of the two chambers of Somaliland, and it will soon come into effect.”

He wondered why the Somalia government which knows that Somaliland has entered several agreements with its neighbor should cry faul now for something that is not its concern.

He said that the cities of Wajale and Jigjiga are close to each other, and “we have business relations with Ethiopia, we have on cooperation on border security and other bilateral relations perpetually”.

The memorandum of understanding signed by the Republic of Somaliland and Ethiopia on January 1, 2024, states that Somaliland would lease 20 km of sea-shore to Ethiopia for a naval base in reciprocal for the land-locked country to be the first country to officially recognize the justified sovereignty of the nation Somaliland.