Ethiopia Upgrades Its Somaliland Consulate Into Full Fledged Embassy

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Somaliland President Musa Bihi Abdi announced a significant diplomatic development during his address on Saturday, May 18, commemorating Somaliland’s 33rd anniversary of is redeclared sovereignty.

In his speech, President Abdi revealed that the Ethiopian representative office in Somaliland would be upgraded to a fully-fledged diplomatic mission. This announcement was later affirmed by Somaliland’s Minister of Information, Ali Hassan Mohamed, in an interview with BBC Somali on the same day. Minister Mohamed emphasized that the news, disclosed by the President himself during the nation’s most important annual celebration, was genuine and significant. The Ministry of Information reiterated this point in a post on its X (formerly Twitter) account.

As of now, there has been no official confirmation from the Ethiopian government regarding the upgrade. However, Ethiopia’s recent diplomatic appointments, announced by President Sahle-Work Zewde last week, included Delil Kedir Bushra as the envoy to Hargeisa, indicating a potential move towards official recognition. Delil Kedir has served as Ethiopia’s envoy to Somaliland since March of last year.

This diplomatic progression comes amidst heightened tensions between Ethiopia and Somalia. Somalia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently ordered Ethiopia’s Ambassador, Muktar Mohamed Ware, to leave Mogadishu within 72 hours and announced the closure of Ethiopian consulates in Hargeisa and Garowe within seven days.

The diplomatic fallout follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 1, granting Ethiopia access to the sea for a leased military base in Somaliland in exchange for potential recognition of Somaliland’s independence. Both Hargeisa and Garowe have dismissed Somalia’s directive, asserting it does not affect their relations with Addis Ababa.

Minister Mohamed also addressed the MoU in his BBC Somali interview, stating that the agreement is progressing as planned and will be implemented according to international treaty procedures. Ethiopia and Somaliland are implementing defense cooperation as well as electric power sharing agreements. This MoU marks a strategic alignment between Ethiopia and Somaliland, further complicating the geopolitical landscape in the Horn of Africa.

Related Posts