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Former FM: Ethiopia lobbied Somali government to reject aid from Egypt

Friday January 14, 2022

Mogadishu (HOL) -Former Somali Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdirizak Mohamed has revealed that Somalia rejected a shipment of medical relief from Egypt due to Villa Somalia’s relationship with Ethiopia.

In an interview with BS TV, the former minister said Villa Somalia had asked Egypt to reject its C-130 flight to Somalia carrying medical aid from the Arab League. 

"I was told to talk to Egypt and inform them of the rejection of a C-130 military cargo and ask to bring the medical supplies in other planes. When asked why, I was told Ethiopia doesn’t want this and rejected it," Abdirizak said in the interview.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abi Ahmed, a close ally of President Farmajo, is embroiled in a bitter dispute with Egypt over the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River. The two nations have failed at reaching an agreement on the dam despite nearly a decade of negotiations.

In mid-July, Egypt accused Ethiopia of violating international law for filling up the dam for the second year.

Mohamed Abdirizak also said that Ethiopia successfully lobbied the Somali government not to allow Somali troops to be trained in Egypt. He added that Egypt had not been given land to build its new embassy in Mogadishu, again due to Ethiopian protest.

Speaking about his dismissal, Abdirizak said that the President and the Prime Minister had fired him because of his neutral stance on the civil war in Ethiopia between the federal government and the former ruling party TPLF.

Abdrizak is not the first foreign minister to be dismissed for getting in the crosshairs of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed. Abdirizak’s predecessor, Ahmed Isse Awad, was sacked in November 2020 for tweeting a statement about the Ethiopian civil war - calling it an “internal conflict - on Somalia’s official Ministry of Foreign Affairs account that presumably embarrassed Ethiopia’s federal government, who was still referring to the civil war as a law enforcement operation.


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