Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
declared bi-partisan support for Somaliland and specified that Ethiopia is ready to provide diplomatic, military and economic support to Somaliland "should they need"
The Prime Minister delivered the keynote speech
this weekend (in 2013) in the Ethiopian Parliament in front of Ethiopian legislators.
Mr. Desalegn specified that Ethiopia is ready to
provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to Somaliland “should they
He underlined the long bilateral relationship
between the two Horn of African states saying Somaliland and Ethiopia cooperate
on many fields including security, economy and education.
He told the Ethiopian lawmakers that he recently
dispatched more than a dozen directors and chairman to Somaliland as a part of
a high-level technical committee that will study ways to enhance relations. He
said he wants to expand existing ties to reflect on the modern geopolitics of
The Prime Minister hopes the two sides will soon
sign an official bilateral strategic cooperation agreement. The technical
committee has been doing its studies for the past three years. Last year the
gathering was held in the Ethiopian chartered city of Dire Dawa and this year
in the Somaliland capital Hargeisa.
“Somaliland is a friend and a key strategic ally
for Ethiopia. We will spare no expense to defend and protect Somaliland. We are
ready to extend an arm of support to our Somaliland brothers every time they
are in need of one,” he told the Parliamentarians.
He said that the Ethiopian armed forces were
ready to fight along side those from Somaliland and offer them technical
support as well as training. He said he was wary of militants from Somalia who
are spurring out off that country due to military pressure from the AU troops
He did not specify if Ethiopia would support
Somaliland forces against armed forces from from Somalia but he has indicated Addis
Ababa will spare no expense to ensure the existence of Somaliland.
emphasized that his government will standby Somaliland against any threat from
This is the first time one of the key nations in
East Africa has openly offered its direct support for Somaliland since ending
its bitter marriage with Somalia two decades ago
The keynote speech by Mr. Desalgn comes during
time when there is diplomatic rift between Hargeisa and the internationally
recognized but powerless government in Mogadishu. Equally it coincides with Somaliland’s 22nd
anniversary of Independence from the rest of Somali Republic.
His message has received overwhelming support
throughout Somaliland and residents have welcomed PM Desalegn’s strong support.
Somalilanders consider Ethiopia the closest ally and their ties traces back to
more than 300 years.
It was just weeks ago when Prime Minister
Desalegn received the Somaliland President Ahmed Silanyo at his official
residence in Addis Ababa.
The two heads of State concurred on the
enhancement of security, education and commercial ties.
“Somaliland and Ethiopia share cordial relations
of which we are determined to not only sustain but enhance as well,” President
Silanyo told Somaliland and Ethiopian reporters. On his part, Prime Minister Hailemariam,
expressed Ethiopia’s interest in fostering stronger relations with Somaliland
based on mutual benefit.
He said “Ethiopia is ready to further bolster
its relations with Somaliland administration in the areas of trade, education,
capacity building and port services.”
He also underscored that Ethiopia will extend
support to Somaliland in order to ensure that Al-Shabaab forces who are fleeing
from Somalia will not pose a threat to Somaliland.
Qudbaddan Prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn wuxu ka hor jeediyey golaha parliment ee dalka Ethiopia iyadoo ay xaadir ku wada ahaayeen xubnaha goluhu, sanadku markuu ahaa 2013.
Sxb-da Safka-hore JSL.