Somalia ousts Ethiopian Envoy over Disagreement over Port Agreement with Somaliland

A port agreement issue in Somaliland, a breakaway area of the country, has escalated tensions, to the point where Somalia has announced the expulsion of Ethiopia’s envoy.

On Thursday, the prime minister of Somalia’s office announced that Mukhtar Mohamed, the ambassador from Ethiopia, had been returned home for consultations. Ethiopia’s consulates in Mogadishu are also closing in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, and Garowe, the seat of Puntland, a semi-autonomous province.

The country’s prime minister’s office declared in a statement that Ethiopia’s government’s blatant meddling in its domestic affairs has violated Somalia’s independence and sovereignty.

Somalia’s Foreign Minister Ali Omar stated that Mohamed had been given 72 hours to leave the country in a brief statement on X. He wrote, “Somalia remains steadfast in its sovereignty.” “We are unwavering in our resolve to defend our territory.”

Reporting from Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, Catherine Soi of Al Jazeera described the expulsion as a significant diplomatic step forward.

The conflict started when landlocked Ethiopia decided to lease 20 kilometers (12 miles) of Somaliland’s coastline on January 1.

As per the agreement, Ethiopia will have 50 years to exploit the coastland surrounding the port of Berbera on the Gulf of Aden for commercial and military uses.

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