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Ethiopian consulates in Garowe and Hargeisa remain open despite Somalia's closure order

Friday April 12, 2024

Mogadishu (HOL) - The Ethiopian government did not comply with the Somali government's order to close the two Ethiopian consulates in the cities of Garowe and Hargeisa, despite Thursday being the deadline for closure.

According to reports, both consulates remain open and operational, and the government's order did not impact their operations. However, Ethiopian Ambassador Muktar Mohamed Ware left the country within the given 72-hour period, effective last Thursday.

Somaliland's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Roda Elmi, and Puntland State dismissed the federal government of Somalia's order to close the Ethiopian Consulates General in Hargeisa and Garowe, the capital cities of Somaliland and Puntland.

Both state leaders, who have political disputes with the federal government leaders, emphasized their friendly and commercial relations with Ethiopia.

Somalia has expelled the Ethiopian ambassador from the country and ordered the closure of two consulates, accusing Ethiopia of infringing on Somalia's "sovereignty and internal affairs."

In a brief statement on X, Somalia's Foreign Minister Ali Omar said that "Somalia stands firm on its sovereignty," he wrote. "Our resolve in protecting our territory is steadfast."

The dispute arose after landlocked Ethiopia agreed on a memorandum of understanding on January 1 to lease 20km (12 miles) of coastline in Somaliland.

Under the deal, the coastland around the port of Berbera, on the Gulf of Aden, will be used by Ethiopia for 50 years for military and commercial purposes. The Somali government denounced the agreement as illegal, warning against interfering in internal affairs.


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