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#Africa #Politics & Current Affairs

Egypt says it won’t allow any threat to Somalia

Egypt says it won't

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has said Cairo stands shoulder to shoulder with Somalia and has slammed Ethiopia’s agreement with Somaliland to obtain access to the sea and establish a marine force base.

Somaliland, a region strategically located by the Gulf of Aden, broke away from Somalia in 1991 as the country collapsed into a civil conflict.

The region has maintained its own government despite a lack of international recognition. On January 1, in a memorandum, Ethiopia said it would consider recognising Somaliland’s independence in return for the port access.

It would lease 20km (12 miles) of coastland around the port of Berbera, on the Gulf of Aden, for 50 years for military and commercial purposes. Ethiopia’s current main port for maritime exports is in the neighbouring country of Djibouti.

Sheikh Mohamud, the president of Somalia, rejected the deal as a violation of international law.

In a bid to prevent the escalating tensions between Ethiopia and Somalia from spiralling into a full-blown war, the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) has deployed former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo for negotiation efforts.

While designating Obasanjo, the PSC has also urged against interference by other countries in the matter. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) convened an extraordinary summit on Thursday in Kampala, Uganda, to discuss the issue.

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