Mogadishu(Mogadishu24)-President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud addressed the first East African Community (EAC) conference in Mogadishu today, emphasizing Somalia’s openness to allowing neighboring countries, particularly Ethiopia, access to its coastline under mutually respectful terms.

In his speech, President Mohamud clarified Somalia’s stance on maritime access for landlocked countries in the region, highlighting that the conflict with Ethiopia is not about denying access but ensuring fair and equitable terms.

“Somalia has always been open to allowing access to its seas. We welcome Ethiopia’s desire to reach our coast, but we want it to be under fair terms, similar to how other landlocked countries like Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi access neighboring countries’ coastlines. We want Ethiopia to reach the Somali coast in a manner consistent with international norms,” President Mohamud stated.

The President’s comments come amid recent discussions about Ethiopia’s access to Somali ports, which have sparked debates about the terms and conditions of such access. President Mohamud emphasized that Somalia is not opposed to Ethiopia reaching the sea but insists on a structured and equitable approach.

“The conflict is not about whether Ethiopia can reach the sea, but how it does so. We want to ensure that any agreement respects our sovereignty and follows the principles applied to other countries in the region accessing coastlines,” he said.

President Mohamud also noted the involvement of international partners in mediating discussions between Somalia and Ethiopia, particularly highlighting his recent engagements at the Oslo Forum in Norway.

“During my time at the Oslo Forum, international partners expressed their willingness to support mediation efforts between Somalia and Ethiopia. We are committed to finding a peaceful and fair resolution to this issue,” he added.

The President’s remarks at the EAC conference underscored Somalia’s commitment to regional cooperation and fair access to maritime routes for its landlocked neighbors, while ensuring respect for its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

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