Somali PM says govt is ‘committed to defending the country’ after Ethiopia-Somaliland deal


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre said on Tuesday his government will defend the country, a day after Ethiopia signed a pact with Somaliland that gives it a leased military base on the Red Sea.

“I want to confirm that we are committed to defending the country. An inch of our land, sea and air cannot be violated,” Somali Premier said following an emergency cabinet meeting.

“We are able to defend our country as we have done before. This time, we want to be united and set aside differences between Somalis.”

Speaking after signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Somaliland leader Muse Bihi Abdi said on Monday his government had agreed to give Ethiopia an access to a 20-km leased land along the Red Sea in return for Addis Ababa recognizing the break-away Somali region.

Bihi’s remarks and the Memorandum of Understanding sent shockwaves across Somalia and sparked outrage, with the country’s political elites, including former President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo terming the agreement an “absurd violation” of the Horn of Africa country’s sovereignty.

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