Ethiopian delegation discusses security cooperation with Somalia’s Puntland leader

Somalia

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – A delegation of Ethiopian military officials met with the leader of Somalia’s northeastern Puntland State Saeed Abdullahi Deni discussing closer security cooperation amid frosty relations between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu.

The meeting came weeks after Addis Ababa signed a security pact with the leader of Southwestern regional state Abdiasis Laftagaren, whose details have not yet been made public.

Angered by Somali President’s foreign policy U-turn in restoring relations with Kenya and lifting ban on Kenyan Khat, Addis Ababa has begun inviting Somali state leaders for talks on setting up relations and cooperation at the expense of the new federal administration.

“Ethiopia military/security delegation in Puntland. Aim to agree a partnership with Deni. Recently Ethiopia made a security pact with SWS leader Laftagaren,” a Horn of Africa analyst Rashid Abdi tweeted. “Addis reverting back to an old policy of advantaging relations with Somalia’s periphery over the center.”

Both the leaders of Puntland and Southwest states are locked in a bitter dispute with the Somali President’s new administration that has arisen from the appointment of their rivals to the cabinet and they see stronger ties with Addis Ababa as an opportunity to overcome challenges facing their leadership, including local opposition.

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