Former Somaliland minister arrested for opposing sea deal with Ethiopia

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Former government official for Somaliland, Ahmed Mumin, has been arrested for opposing a recently signed sea deal with Ethiopia.

The former Agriculture Minister was one of many individuals who have been arrested for similar reasons and are yet to be arraigned before court.

Mumin was arrested on January 14 in the capital Hargeisa after comments he made against the deal between Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Somaliland had pledged to lease 20 kilometres of the Red Sea on a naval base to Ethiopia for 50 years in exchange for its sovereignty as a country.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between both countries in Addis Ababa on January 1, 2024, grants Ethiopia access to Somaliland’s Berbera port for commercial marine operations in return for official recognition by Ethiopia as an independent state after its breakaway from Somalia.

Somaliland has since opposed the deal which it describes as an act of aggression, raising concerns about instability in the Horn of Africa Region.

Somaliland’s foreign minister, Essa Kayd said the port deal will legitimize the country’s self-determination and make the country recognised.

“Recognition is what we have been fighting for all this time and it is the most important thing we can offer to the people of Somaliland,” Kayd was quoted by local media outlet, Garowe Online.

He noted that the agreement is only valid if Ethiopia honours its side of the deal.

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