Somalia calls emergency meet on Ethiopia, Somaliland port deal

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Somalia’s cabinet will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss a pact Ethiopia signed with the breakaway region of Somaliland, allowing the former to use the Red Sea port of Berbera, the Somali state news agency said.

Landlocked Ethiopia relies on neighbouring Djibouti for most of its maritime trade.

Monday’s agreement, signed in Addis Ababa by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi, will clear the way for Ethiopia to set up commercial marine operations giving it access to a leased military base on the Red Sea, Abiy’s National Security adviser, Redwan Hussien, said.

In return, Somaliland would receive a share of state-owned Ethiopian Airlines, Redwan said, without giving more details.

Somalia’s cabinet will decide on a response at Tuesday’s meeting, the Somali National News Agency (SONNA) said late on Monday.

Somaliland has not gained widespread international recognition, despite declaring autonomy from Somalia in 1991. Somalia says Somaliland is part of its territory.

Last week the news agency said Somalia and Somaliland had agreed to restart talks to resolve their disputes, following mediation efforts led by Djibouti.