يوليو 15, 2024

Dr. Omar Farouk Sheikh Abdulaziz: Is holding an emergency IGAD summit in Uganda regarding the tension in Somali-Ethiopian relations in the interest of Somalia

The emergency IGAD summit in Uganda regarding th. tension in Somali-Ethiopian relations, announced by the state of Djibouti, is not in the interest of Somalia.

Djibouti, being the chair of the current session, issued; An announcement to hold an emergency summit in Uganda to study the causes of the Ethiopian-Somali diplomatic tension resulting from the signing of the memorandum of understanding between Ethiopia and Somaliland in northern Somalia.
Accordingly, we will highlight the most important data that indicate that the holding of this summit and its participation is not in the interest of the Republic of Somalia, in the following aspects:
1- The Secretary-General of IGAD is the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Dr. Workneh Kebehu, and the real control of IGAD offices and files is under full Ethiopian control.
Therefore, all decisions of this organization are influenced by Ethiopia, and it is not possible to issue a position that affects its interests and strategies.
2- The position issued by IGAD after the signing of the joint memorandum of understanding between Ethiopia and Somaliland on January 1, 2024, was a position that supported Ethiopia and was clear, which led to opposition from Somalia and its condemnation by the Somali government on January 4, 2024. Therefore, there is no different position expected from IGAD.
3- Djibouti, the president of the current session, was late in issuing its position regarding the Ethiopian memorandum of understanding with Somaliland, and when it issued its position on January 8, 2024, it was not far from the position of IGAD, which indicates that Djibouti cannot issue anything that would anger Ethiopia, which imports most of its exports from Its ports, in addition to its strong fear of Ethiopia causing unrest and internal revolutions for the Afar nationality, which represents about 60% of Djibouti’s population and extends on the border between Djibouti and Ethiopia. Therefore, we cannot expect Djibouti to issue a position that angers Ethiopia and supports the Somali side.
Therefore, there is no interest in Somalia participating in this extraordinary summit.
4- The success and superiority of Somali diplomacy over Ethiopian diplomacy in the dialectic of legitimacy in the joint understanding signed by Ethiopia with Somaliland in northern Somalia.
This summit, the Igad Summit, may ease the pressure on Ethiopia, and some countries and regional and international organizations may be affected if anything is issued indicating the start of direct negotiations between Somalia and Ethiopia.
It is best for the Republic of Somalia to first confirm, through IGAD member states, their official position regarding the memorandum of understanding signed between Ethiopia and Somaliland.
The most important points of the statement expected from the IGAD summit:
1- IGAD countries are deeply concerned about the diplomatic crisis between Somalia and Ethiopia.
2- IGAD requests the two parties, Somalia and Ethiopia, to solve their internal problems, and to begin negotiations between the two sides to resolve the new crisis by peaceful means and through diplomacy.
3- IGAD believes in the importance of achieving security and stability in the region, and avoiding bloody conflicts between countries.
4- IGAD will mediate between Somalia and Ethiopia to resolve the political crisis between them and remove diplomatic tension between the two parties.
These are the most important points of the expected statement from the IGAD summit scheduled to be held in Uganda on 01/18/2024. I leave it to the reader whether my opinion that this summit is not in the interest of Somalia is correct or not. 
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