Bihi: Hassan Sheikh is dishonest


HARGEISA, Somalia - The leader of the breakaway region of Somaliland Muse Bihi Abdi has accused Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of being 'dishonest' with the situation in the country while vowing to oversee the implementation of the controversial agreement with Ethiopia.

Ethiopia had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Somaliland which would see it getting 20 kilometers of the Red Sea for construction of a naval base and port, in exchange for recognition of Somaliland as a sovereign state.

But the agreement has been dismissed as 'illegal' by Somalia, which threatened to explore ways to protect its territorial integrity and sovereignty, including through the use of the military. Somalia has since approached Turkey and Egypt for support, signing defence agreements in the process.

However, according to Bihi, Hassan Sheikh has failed to appreciate the fact that the deal has been signed, adding that he is only opposed to it since Somaliland has signed. The region has been fighting for independence since cutting ties with Mogadishu in 1991.

"Somaliland and Ethiopia are both committed to implementing the Red Sea MoU which will lead his breakaway region to long-awaited recognition," he said in a statement, noting that the agreement shall be accomplished.

On Tuesday, President Hassan Sheikh announced that he is ready to leave his presidency for the sake of the country's unity and the return of the northern regions, Somaliland to a unified Somalia. The two sides broke ties over three decades ago.

Hassan Sheikh made the remarks at an event in Mogadishu to mark the 64th anniversary of the Independence of Somalia. Somaliland has been fighting for international recognition but the United Nations places it under one Somalia 'policy'.

Somalia has gone ahead to reject Ethiopia's military stay in the country post-ATMIS mission. The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) is set to leave the country by the end of December 2024 in line with the Somali Transition Plan (STP).


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