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ETHIOPIAN – SOMALILAND RELATION
The last Somaliland delegation headed by president Daahir Rayaale Kahin visited Addis Ababa last week to sign a cooperation agreement between Somaliland and Ethiopia; also the Ethiopian delegation came to our country last month and signed a similar agreement.
The main purpose of these agreements is how the Ethiopians may benefit by using our main Port Berbera. Most of us believe that the good relationship between the two countries had started in midst of 1990. But the reality is quite the opposite; Somaliland and Ethiopia have been cooperating for the last 121 years except from 1960 – 1990. And the fact is Ethiopia needs Somaliland more than we need them; to find out why let us see what is written on the first treaty known the Addis Ababa treaty or the Treaty between Great Britain and Ethiopia signed by the Emperor Menelek II and representative of HM Government at Addis Ababa on the 14th May 1897 ratified by the Queen on 28 th July 1897.these are few Articles and annex of that treaty excluded demarcation of the border between Somaliland and Ethiopia.
Her majesty Queen Victoria having appointed as her special Envoy and Representative to his Majesty the Emperor Menelek II, James Rennell Rodd, Esq. companion of the most distinguished order of St.Michael and St. George, whose full powers have been found in due and proper form, and his majesty the Emperor Menelek, negotiating in his own name as king of kings of Ethiopia, they have agreed upon and do conclude the following articles, which shall be binding on themselves their heirs and successor.
The subject of our persons protected by each of the contracting parties shall have full liberty to come and go and engage in commerce in the territories of the other, enjoying the protection of the government within whose jurisdiction they are, but it is forbidden for armed bands from either side to cross to the frontier of the other on any pretext whatever without previous authorization from the competent authorities.
The frontier of the British protectorate on the Somali coast recognized by the Emperor Menelek shall be determined subsequently by exchange of notes between James Rennell Rodd Esq., as Representative of her Majesty
the Queen and Ras Maconen as representative of His Majesty the Emperor Menelek at Harrar. These notes shall be annexed to the present treaty, of which they will form an integral part, so soon as they have received the approval of the high contracting parties, pending which the states quo shall be maintained.
The caravan route between Zeyla and Harrar by way of Gildessa shall remain open throughout its whole extent to the commerce of both nations.
His Majesty the Emperor of Ethiopia, on the one hand, accords to Great Britain and her colonies, in respect of import duties and local taxation, every advantage, which he may accord to subjects of other nations. On the other hand, all material destined exclusively for the service of the Ethiopian State shall, on application from his Majesty the Emperor, be allowed to pass through the port of Zeyla into Ethiopia Free of duty.
The transit of firearms and ammunition destined for his Majesty the Emperor of Ethiopia through the territories depending on the Government of her Britannic Majesty is authorized, subject to the conditions prescribed by the General Act of the Brussels conference, signed the 2 nd July 1890.
HIS Majesty the Emperor Menelek II, kings of kings of Ethiopia engages himself towards the Government of her Britannic Majesty to do all in his power to prevent the passage through his dominions of arms and ammunitions to the Mahdists, whom he declares to be the enemies of his empire.
To your Majesty, With reference to Article II of the treaty, which we are to sign today, my Government instructs me, in the event of a possible occupation by Ethiopia of territories inhabited by tribes who have formerly accepted and enjoyed British protection in the districts excluded from the limits of the British protectorate on the Somali coast, as recognized by your Majesty, to bring to your knowledge the desire of her Majesty the Queen to receive from your Majesty an assurance that it will be your special care that these tribes receive equitable treatment , and are thus no losers by this transfer of suzerainty.
Ahmed Ibrahim Kadleye