Muktar Mohamed Ware, Ethiopia Ambassador to Somalia

Somalia Expels Ethiopian Ambassador

News Politics

Mogadishu also shuts down Addis Ababa’s consulates in Hargeisa and Garowe amid rising tension over sovereignty.

Somalia has expelled the Ethiopian ambassador from the country on Thursday and ordered the closure of two consulates in the semi-autonomous regions of Puntland and Somaliland. It accused Ethiopia of infringing on Somalia’s “sovereignty and internal affairs”.

Additionally, Somalia recalled its ambassador from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, for “comprehensive consultations”.

The expulsion highlights an escalation in diplomatic tensions in the region, stemming from land-locked Ethiopia’s signing of a memorandum of understanding earlier this year, focused on leasing 20 kilometers strip of coastline in Somaliland to build a navy base, potentially offering “recognition” to the breakaway region in exchange.

Despite Somalia demanding a public reversal of the deal by Ethiopia, it has not happened.

Moreover, Ethiopian officials met delegates from the semi-autonomous Somali province of Puntland earlier this week, which has strained relations with the central government.

Puntland’s Information Minister, Mohamud Aydid Dirir, however, disputed Mogadishu’s warning, stating the Federal Government has no jurisdiction in Puntland to close Ethiopia’s Consulate.

This year Puntland said it would operate as a functionally independent state amid a dispute over Somali constitutional changes.

The expulsion of the ambassador and closure of the consulates raised concerns about the fate of the 3,000 Ethiopian soldiers stationed in Somalia as part of an African Union peacekeeping mission fighting militants from al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida affiliate. [TN]

Ethiopian Ambassador to Somalia, Mukhtar Mohamed Ware, expelled
A letter from Somalia’s Foreign Minister that expels Ethiopian Ambassador to Somalia, Mukhtar Mohamed Ware, and the closure of two consulates in the country.