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Somalia denies airspace permission to Ethiopian Airlines carrying delegation to Somaliland

Wednesday January 17, 2024

Mogadishu (HOL) - The Somali government denied permission for an unscheduled Ethiopian Airlines flight carrying a high-level Ethiopian delegation to enter Somali airspace on Wednesday, according to sources.

Sources indicate that the government temporarily suspended all inbound Ethiopian Airlines flights to Somalia to underscore its position on the "unscheduled" flight. Sources added that the suspension was lifted after the unscheduled flight departed.

The delegation was en route to Hargeisa, the capital of the breakaway Somaliland region, to discuss with Somaliland authorities the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement between the Somali region and the Ethiopian government.

Last night, Ethiopian troops arrived in Hargeisa to provide security for the high-level Ethiopian delegation, another source said.

Somalia rejected the "Memorandum of Understanding" that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed signed with Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi on January 1, aiming to secure the Red Sea port of Berbera. Somalia, considering Somaliland as part of its territory, also summoned its ambassador to Ethiopia for discussions regarding the agreement.

Ethiopia's administration acknowledged facing global pressure to annul its pact with Somaliland. Despite this, Ethiopia's foreign minister and deputy prime minister affirmed their commitment to upholding the agreement with Somaliland.


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