Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Somalia Triumphs in Diplomacy: Safeguarding Sovereignty Amidst Sea Access Dispute with Ethiopia

By Aydarus Ahmed 

In a diplomatic feat resonating through the halls of international relations, Somalia has emerged triumphant in protecting its sovereignty during a contentious sea access dispute with Ethiopia.

Somalia Map and Satellite Image/credit Geology.com

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that proposed Ethiopia’s access to the sea was met with firm resistance from Somalia, contending that Somaliland is an inseparable part of its sovereign territory, consistent with international law and the African Union Charter.

International Law: Upholding Territorial Integrity

At the heart of Somalia’s rejection lies a robust adherence to international law. Under the principles of state sovereignty, recognized by the United Nations Charter, nations are entitled to control their internal and external affairs without external interference. Somalia invokes this inherent right to vehemently oppose any compromise that challenges its established territorial boundaries.

International recognition of Somaliland as part of Somalia’s sovereign territory is rooted in the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, which outlines the criteria for statehood. The rejection of the sea access agreement aligns with these principles, emphasizing the inviolability of established borders and the protection of sovereign rights.

African Union Charter: Preserving Unity and Territorial Integrity

Somalia’s stance finds additional support in the African Union Charter, which emphasizes the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference in the internal affairs of member states. By categorically asserting that Somaliland is an integral part of its territory, Somalia aligns itself with the charter’s commitment to preserving the unity and territorial integrity of African nations.

Global Support for Somalia: A Unified Front Against Infringement

The international community rallied behind Somalia in a display of solidarity that transcends geopolitical divides. Turkey, a staunch ally of Somalia, expressed concerns over potential violations of Somali sovereignty. This sentiment echoes the commitment to respecting international norms and upholding the principles of sovereignty.

Within the East African context, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) emphasized the need to safeguard the sovereignty of member states. This regional solidarity reinforces the importance of respecting borders and maintaining stability through adherence to established legal principles.

Global Consensus: A Defining Moment in Diplomacy

The rejection of the sea access agreement by the Arab League, the United States, and the European Union reflects a global consensus on the imperative of safeguarding state sovereignty. These entities, bound by a commitment to international law, expressed collective concern over the potential implications of the agreement on Somali sovereignty.

Conclusion: A Diplomatic Triumph for Somalia and International Law

In successfully navigating this sea access dispute with Ethiopia, Somalia not only defends its territorial boundaries but also exemplifies the broader international effort to ensure nations can chart their courses independently.

This diplomatic triumph, grounded in the principles of international law and the African Union Charter, reaffirms the sanctity of state sovereignty and sets a precedent for respecting established borders in the ever-evolving landscape of global diplomacy.

Aydarus Ahmed 
Email: [email protected]
East Africa Political analyst 

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Related articles:

1. Countering the dangerous ideology of PM Abiy Ahmed By A Baadiyow

2. Somalia must reconsider its policy towards Somaliland amidst the Ethio-Somaliland MoU By M.Rage

3.What will become of Abiy Ahmed’s ‘acts of aggression’ against the Somali people? By Dr Aweys O.

4. A pact cast adrift: Navigating the legal maelstrom of the Ethiopia-Somaliland accord By Dayib Sh. Ahmed

5. The escalating Ethiopia-Somalia rift: A precarious path to conflict By Hassan Tahir  

6Has Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed failed history at the school? failure in history may lead him to failure in leadership By Prof Abdisalam M Issa-Salwe and Abdullahi Salah Osman

7. Abiy Ahmed’s MoU with Muse Bihi threatens Horn of Africa stability By Abdirahman Baadiyow

8-Calculated ambiguity: A sovereign port, access to the sea or a naval base? By Prof Ezekiel Gebissa

9-The historical search for a sea outlet and leadership legacy By Faisal A Roble

10 .Ethiopia and Somaliland deal: A declaration of war against Somalia By Hassan Zaylai


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