The Government of the Republic of Somaliland has officially responded to statements made by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, last week during a joint press conference with Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, who was in the country on a state visit.
During the press conference, Desalegn said: “Ethiopia will no longer meet with regions of Somalia without the consent of Somalia’s Federal Government”. “The International Community must respect Somalia’s sovereignty and stop dealing without the SFG’s consent”.
Somaliland’s Interior Minister, Yasin Haji Mohamoud Hiir Faratoon, responded to a question on Desalegn’s comments in an interview with Geeska Afrika, stating that “it doesn’t concern Somaliland because Somaliland is not part of Somalia”
“As long as he didn’t say Somaliland, that is all that matters” Faratoon added
Farmaajo traveled to Ethiopia last week to rally regional support against the growing friendship between Somaliland and the UAE.
Although Somalia and Ethiopia have a rocky relationship, both countries have now found common ground in their battle against the UAE’s activities in the region.
Regional analysts say Ethiopia sees the UAE’s current influence in Somaliland as a threat to their own quest to dominate the Horn of Africa.
Somalia, on the other hand, still believes that Somaliland is part of Somalia and is upset that the UAE engaged with the Somaliland’s Government directly and purposely ignored Somalia’s claims.
Many Somalilanders took Desalegn’s comments as subliminal jab directed towards Somaliland-UAE relations. Somaliland and Ethiopia have also been close for the past 26 years, which makes Desalegn’s comments come as a surprise to many.
Adan’s comments is the first official response from a Somaliland government official on PM Desalegn’s recent comments.