Somaliland lawmakers reject Red Sea access deal with Ethiopia

The Republic of Somaliland have rejected the memorandum of understanding (MoU) that provided Ethiopia access to the Red Sea

Lawmakers in Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland have rejected a maritime access deal with Ethiopia.

In a joint statement late on Tuesday (13 February), members of both houses of Somaliland’s Parliament, mainly from the coastal Awdal and Salal provinces, said the Red Sea access deal was “illegal” and aims to “harm the unity of the people of Somaliland.

“We have rejected the deal and its implementation, and we are calling the government to stop and retract the memorandum of understanding,” said the statement.

The statement pointed to “conflicting statements” from leaders of Somaliland and Ethiopia on the deal, which allows Ethiopia to obtain a permanent naval base and commercial maritime service in the Gulf of Aden.

Somalia rejected Ethiopia’s Red Sea port deal with Somaliland in January, calling it “illegitimate,” threatening good neighbourliness and violating its sovereignty.

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