Mogadishu(Mogadishu24)-The Ethiopian Government said Monday that the countries in the region were aware of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Somaliland, leasing 20 kilometers sea access to Ethiopia on January 1st, 2024.

Redwan Hussein, National Security Advisor for the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed told the local media that part of MoU included that provisions for the Ethiopian government to make an in-depth assessment towards taking a position regarding to Somaliland’s efforts to gain recognition.

“The government announced its intention in October last year, envoys have been sent twice to neighboring countries, particularly to East African nations, and they were aware since then, except for specific details”, Redwan said.

He mentioned that what they didn’t know was when Somaliland President, Musa Behi would come and whether the issues of shares and recognition would be included in the MoU.

In another interview with local media a week earlier, Redwan Hussein provided further details about the deal, saying that the MoU with Somaliland gives opportunity to the next generations of Ethiopians, stressing the agreement suited 100 years (a century) but a 50-year contract which also sounded good, he said.

“We’re getting sea access at an area very close to us, it is called ‘Lughaye’. the agreement is based on 50-year contract, but for us, we would have liked to 99 to 100 years. Even if it is 50 year-contract, it is for two generations. First it expands opportunities. The image of the world as well as the one of Ethiopia will change at that time”, Hussein said in the interview.

Redwan revealed that Ethiopia will recognize Somaliland as sovereign as state when sea access deal and building of military base for Ethiopia in area are implemented successfully, adding that shares on country’s telecom and Airlines Carries will be next.

The Somali Government firmly refuted the ‘so-called’ deal, terming it null and void and unacceptable because the MoU was leasing 20 kilometres of sea access to Ethiopia. The tension worsened the diplomatic relations between the two neighboring countries. Somalia recalled its Ambassador to Ethiopia while protests against Ethiopia’s actions took place in major cities in the country.

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