Northern Kenya MPsoppose Ethiopia-Somaliland Red Sea access deal
MPs from Northern Kenya have warned that a pact between Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland and Ethiopia allowing Addis Ababa to use a major port with access to the Red Sea will have a spillover effect on Kenya should a conflict ensue.
The leaders whose constituencies border Somalia warned that tension is already brewing in the Horn of Africa following the signing of the controversial agreement between Somaliland and Ethiopia to lease a 20-kilometre stretch of sea port access to Ethiopian naval forces for 50 years in exchange for international recognition.
“We unequivocally state that the Ethiopian government’s action to enter into an agreement and effectively establish direct international relations with a region of Somalia is in breach of the territorial integrity and abuse of the political independence of the State of Somalia,” the MPs said in a joint statement read by Dadaab lawmaker Farah Maalim at Parliament Buildings.
“Ethiopia is a signatory to the UN Charter, The African Union Constitutive Act, Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and several other international treaties that regulate the conduct and relations between nations as such, we find it bizarre that it has chosen to act unconscientiously.”
Ethiopia and Somaliland inked the agreement on January 1, 2024, a deal that has since been dismissed by Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as having no legal force.
The agreement would see Ethiopia become the first country to recognise Somaliland as an independent country.
Eldas MP Adan Keynan, who chairs the Northern Kenya Parliamentary Group, said the failure by Ethiopia to strike an agreement with Somalia and follow international law will create an armed conflict whose spillover will result in refugees flocking to Kenya.
Read:Kenya’s never-ending gaffes on Somaliland
“I appeal to President Ruto to immediately cause an emergency meeting of the Igad and AU to force Ethiopia to rescind its agreement with the breakaway Somaliland,” Mr Keynan said.