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Somaliland – Ethiopian Relations

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The JNA Exposed As A TFG Ploy

Nine Injured In Mogadishu Grenade Attack

Djibouti Defense Minister In Eritrea To Discuss Somalia

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Somaliland Women Challenge Islamic Roles

The 2006 Washington DC Somaliland Convention

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Regional Affairs

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Special Report

International News

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Food for thought


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There is no doubt that since the beginning of last decade, relations between Somaliland and Ethiopia have kept improving and getting stronger. The two countries have over the years succeeded in cementing the basis for an effective cooperation in the area of border security and exchange of intelligence information with regard to counter terrorism. The two countries have also established mechanisms for easing the movement of people onto either side of their common border. The recent years have also witnessed attempts by the two countries to formalize their bilateral trade.

Somalilanders have valued their country’s relations with Ethiopia for practical and sentimental reasons. Somaliland had suffered the most in comparison with other Somalis in all the previous wars with Ethiopia. The lesson learned had been that peace and good neighborly relations with Ethiopia was much more beneficial to Somaliland than pursuing an irredentist agenda.

Somaliland has experienced a genocidal war in the hands of Somalia. Ethiopia aided Somaliland’s struggle for freedom from repression and served as a refuge at one time for nearly 2/3 of the population of this country after fleeing persecution. Somaliland’s rise as peaceful, stable and democratic neighbor has impacted positively on Ethiopia’s security and on the region’s as a whole.

The current Ethiopian government (it came to power after Somaliland declared independence) reciprocated by respecting to the right of Somalilanders to self-determination and their aspiration to stay independent. Both Somaliland and Ethiopia have been victims of frequent and unjustified condemnations for pursuing a peaceful coexistence and good neighborliness.

As leaders of the former Italian Somalia miserably failed to follow the Somaliland example in resolving their conflict and rebuilding an effective governance, they unfairly accused Ethiopia of trying to dismember a Somalia that only existed in the annals of international organizations such as the United Nations, the Arab League and the African Union. Somali irredentists and their Arab allies demonized Somaliland for being an “Ethiopian puppet”.

Therefore the issue of the allegedly Ethiopian supplied rifles that had been distributed by the Puntland authorities to one of the clans in the Sool region should be properly handled by the respective authorities in Hargeysa and Addis Ababa. Such incidents must not happen again.

Today the security of both Somaliland and Ethiopia is in jeopardy. With the Al Itihad Al Mahakem Al Islamiya breeding nefarious threats, security of the whole region is actually in danger. But it is difficult to imagine the emergence of an effective common front that may make a stand against the advance of the Wahabists when Abdillahi Yusuf’s militias are still in Las-Anod while Gal-kayo is highly vulnerable.

In fact tensions are so high now in the Sool region that fighting might easily flare up between Somaliland and Puntland. The Ethiopian government is needed to persuade Abdillahi Yusuf to get his militia out of Las-Anod and stop laying claims on Somaliland. Puntland has already shown that it is a paper tiger when it comes to confronting the Courts who have recently intensified their influence even in Las-Anod.

Abdillahi Yusuf’s abandonment of his expansionist policies would pave the way for a more coordinated and powerful response to the Al-Itihad threat.

Somaliland and Ethiopia need each other more than any other time before. This is not the time for childish mistakes. The ties between the two countries must be further strengthened in all spheres on the basis of mutual respect and common interests. With the international community taking a policy of appeasement towards Mogadishu’s Al-Itihad forces, Somaliland and Ethiopia can no longer put off making essential choices for adequately meeting the challenges posed by the Courts to their national security interests.


Source: Somaliland Times

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