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Somali diaspora in Canada raises concerns over Ethiopia-Somaliland port deal

Monday February 12, 2024

Toronto (HOL) - Concerns among the Somali diaspora in Canada are mounting over the recent maritime agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland, prompting the Somali government to seek international intervention.

The government's call to the African Union and the United Nations on Sunday, urging a decisive stand against an "illegal" agreement, highlights the deepening rift over the pact encroaching on Somalia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The controversy centers around a deal reached last month, which has seen Somalis across Canada holding meetings to voice their worries, particularly in urban centers like Toronto. These gatherings reflect the community's apprehension about the potential implications of the agreement on the unity between Ethiopia and Somaliland.

Said Mohamed Mohamud, a Somali scholar residing in the Ontario region, emphasized that the purpose of the meetings was to inspire Somalis in the diaspora regarding the situation in the country and to convey to the international community that the Somali people will resist any attempt to encroach upon their land.

"We must demonstrate that no one can exploit the internal conflicts among Somalis. The issue in Somalia revolves around improving governance and educating people about democracy. However, we stand united in rejecting any external threats to our nation," he stated.

Hawo Ahmed, a participant in the meeting, stressed the importance of the diaspora remaining connected to their homeland and advocating for the defense of the country's sovereignty.

In response to the Somali government's plea, a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Somaliland countered the Federal Government of Somalia's recent criticisms of the agreement. The discord underscores a growing rift over the pact, which Somaliland and Ethiopia defend as a step towards enhancing bilateral relations despite Somalia's condemnation.


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