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Horn of Africa rejects Ethiopia’s request for a port access

Mogadishu (SD) – Djibouti, Somalia, and Eritrea have rejected a request from Ethiopia to engage in talks aimed at securing access to the Red Sea, as reported by Bloomberg.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had called for dialogue with neighboring countries to secure access to the Red Sea, which he sees as critical for the country’s future development. Ethiopia lost its access to the sea in 1993 when Eritrea gained independence following a 30-year war.

Somalia, which is “deeply committed” to promoting peace, security, trade, and cooperation, including the development of strategic infrastructure like ports, expressed its position against the strategic acquisition of assets like ports, according to a statement by the State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Omar. He also mentioned to Bloomberg that, “Somalia’s territorial integrity, including its land, sea, and air, as enshrined in our Constitution, is sacred and not subject to compromise.”

During a televised address on October 13, Abiy asserted that Ethiopia has a “natural right” to access the Red Sea and warned that a refusal to do so would result in fighting. He also suggested that Ethiopia could grant shares in its resources in return for similar stakes in ports in neighboring countries.

Eritrea dismissed the Ethiopian prime minister’s remarks as “excessive” and said, “The affair has perplexed all concerned observers.”

Alexis Mohamed, a spokesperson for Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh, told Bloomberg that Abiy’s position is nothing new, though it is now delivered in a much more forward manner. he stated that Djibouti has already granted Ethiopia’s navy access to its ports.

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