January 3rd, 2024
Diplomatic briefing provided by: Acting Foreign Minister and State Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.E. Ali Mohamed Omar.
Attendees: Ambassadors and charge d’affaires of foreign missions residing in Mogadishu.
Subject: Protesting Ethiopia’s Breach of Somali Sovereignty through Unlawful MOU Signed with Northern Somalia Leader and Call for Immediate Action from the Security Council
I am holding this briefing to convey my country’s deep concern and strong objection to the recent actions of the Federal Government of Ethiopia, which constitute a direct encroachment upon the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia.
1. The Federal Government of Somalia is deeply concerned about the recent actions of the Federal Government of Ethiopia, which constitute a direct encroachment upon Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
2. On January 1, 2024, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Mr. Abiy Ahmed, and the Leader of the Northern regions of Somalia (Somaliland), Mr. Musa Bihi, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that unilaterally grants Ethiopia access to 20 KM of the Somali coastline on the Red Sea. This agreement was made without the consent or endorsement of the Federal Government of Somalia and effectively violates the country’s constitution and established international laws and norms.
3. Ethiopia’s unilateral actions undermine the principles of state sovereignty and territorial integrity, which are fundamental pillars of the United Nations Charter and the established norms of international relations. Disregarding these principles adversely impacts regional stability and establishes a troubling precedent for international relations.
4. The recent action of the Ethiopian Prime Minister undermines Somalia’s efforts to remove and eliminate the terror group Al-Shabaab, which emerged after the last Ethiopian intervention in Somalia in 2006-2007. This move will undoubtedly provide propaganda and recruitment opportunities for the terror group to destabilize the region, as they have already begun to exploit it.
5. The region requires stability to improve the standard of living for its residents. Somalia and Ethiopia have endured sufficient animosities in the past, and it is time to move beyond such conflicts and work to create a peaceful environment where the young population can thrive.
6. We call on the Ethiopian Prime Minister to rescind the January 1, 2024, unlawful agreement he made with a regional authority within the sovereign state of Somalia.
7. Given the gravity of the situation and its serious implications for regional and international peace and security, we urge the international partners, through its esteemed platforms, to inform your esteemed leaders and request a swift condemnation of Ethiopia’s flagrant violations and ensure their immediate compliance with international law, thereby respecting the unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Somalia.
8. The preservation of international law and the sovereignty of nations is paramount for fostering a tranquil and stable international community. We trust that the international community you represent will take decisive action to address this matter and uphold these fundamental values.
I thank you for your attendance and attention. If you have any questions, you may ask.