Arab League Chief Condemns Ethiopia-Somaliland Deal as Violation of International Law

Wed Jan 17 2024
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

CAIRO: Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit has strongly criticized the maritime agreement between Ethiopia and the separatist region of Somaliland, terming it “a clear violation of international law.”

The memorandum of understanding (MoU), signed on January 1, involves Somaliland leasing 20 kilometers of its coast to Ethiopia for 50 years. Ethiopia has expressed its intention to establish a naval base and commercial port in the region.

The accord has sparked regional tensions, with the Arab League supporting the Somali government’s rejection, citing concerns over the violation of Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Aboul Gheit emphasized the MoU’s infringement on Arab, African, and international principles, calling on the international community to prevent actions exploiting domestic circumstances or disrupting national dialogue.

Somaliland, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991, is not internationally recognized despite relative stability compared to Somalia. The region’s agreement with Ethiopia and Ethiopia’s pursuit of sea access have added complexity to regional dynamics.

The lack of recognition hinders Somaliland from benefiting fully from its strategic position on the Gulf of Aden, a crucial sea route leading to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp