Today: Saturday, 2 March 2024 year

The President of Somalia has annulled Somaliland’s port pact with Ethiopia.

The President of Somalia has annulled Somaliland’s port pact with Ethiopia.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud signed a law “annulling” an agreement between the unrecognized republic of Somaliland in northern Somalia and Ethiopia, under which Ethiopia could gain access to the Red Sea through Somaliland.

Somalia on Tuesday recalled its ambassador to Ethiopia after Addis Ababa signed a “historic” memorandum of understanding with the breakaway republic of Somaliland on Monday that could give Ethiopia access to the Red Sea.

“I have signed a law revoking the illegal memorandum of understanding between the Government of Ethiopia and Somaliland. With the support of our legislators and our people, this law illustrates our commitment to guarantee our unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity under international law,” the President said.

The law is largely a symbolic gesture of dissatisfaction with the Somali government. Somalia strongly opposes Somaliland’s claims to independence but has little actual say in the affairs of the unrecognized republic, which has “its own government, security forces and currency” as well as a long coastline on one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

Somalia ceased to exist as a single state in 1991 with the fall of the dictatorial regime of Siad Barre. The international community recognizes the federal government as the only legitimate authority in the country, which controls the capital city of Mogadishu and a number of other areas. The remaining parts of Somalia are under the control of unrecognized state entities or are self-governing territories. In particular, the unrecognized Republic of Somaliland is located in the northern part of the country, and the Puntland region, which declared autonomy in 1998, is located in the eastern part of the country.