Ethiopia’s illegal MoU undermines fight against Al-Shabaab, Somalia says
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ethiopia and Somaliland will significantly impede the fight against Al-Shabab, Somalia insists, adding that the world should stand in solidarity with the country as it fights 'aggression'.
The MoU, it said, also undermines milestones made by Somalia in terms of debt relief and lifting of the arms embargo, which allows the country to redeem itself after years of economic downturn and instability within the Horn of Africa nation.
"Somalia believes that this illegal MOU was designed to undermine our recent progress, which was recognized and applauded by the international community," Somalia's foreign affairs ministry said.
"The successful completion of the debt relief process, coupled with the lifting of the 30-year-long UN arms embargo and the ascension into the East African Community (EAC), a vibrant regional bloc, were some of the notable achievements that Somalia registered in 2023."
But the MoU will shape the fight against Al-Shabaab, a group that has been fighting to topple the fragile UN-backed federal government of Somalia. If implemented, the Foreign Affairs Ministry noted, the country will struggle to fight Al-Shabaab, which is on the verge of collapse.
"Additionally, Somalia was in the middle of a successful counterterrorism operation against the terrorist group Al-Shabaab. Over the past two years, the Federal Government of Somalia has liberated significant territory from Al-Shabaab," Somalia noted.
"Regrettably, this MOU provides Al-Shabaab a golden opportunity to exploit the situation and potentially reverse the gains made in recent years," added the statement.