Ethiopia, Somaliland MoU Is No Different from Related Agreements in the world: Prof. Ayele Bekri

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BY KASSAHUN CHANIE

Many Ethiopian academics assert that trade was the foundation of the Axum culture and other civilizations and water (Sea) plays a significant role in Ethiopia’s long and rich history of trade.

Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Indian Ocean were the commercial hubs of the era, according to historians. This trade was conducted by land, air, and sea, with the sea being the most significant and the earliest mode of transportation.

Prof. Ayele Bekrie, a renowned historian, stated that Zeila Port in Somaliland has been one of Ethiopia’s ports of call since the 14th century, according to the MOU between the two countries, EBC learnt.

“Many pieces of evidence point to Ethiopia being the port’s owner, given that Amharic and Arabic were the main languages of communication in Zeila at the time. Ethiopia has a long history with ports. Ethiopia’s survival still rests on port, and maintaining a strong port is always dependent on having a good idea. Ethiopia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Somaliland, which allows it to import and export commodities from the port it possesses. It will, therefore, also permit it to build a military and naval base and to encircle its territory up to 20 kilometers around the sea.”

Ayele recounted how Somaliland declared independence from the British colony before Somalia, adding that a battle was fought to unite the two countries during Siad Barre’s rule.

As with other nations’ agreements about their interests, the professor concluded that Somaliland and Ethiopia have a common past and that Somaliland’s agreement with Ethiopia is founded on trade and mutual interests.

“There is no distinction between the Memorandum of Understanding between Ethiopia and Somaliland and other international accords. It was understanding that led to the accord rather than force. Consequently, it is appropriate to offer and accept the agreement. The pact promotes prosperity for all parties involved and is essential to the regions’ continued integration in many respects.”

He continued by saying that for Ethiopia to be independent of aid and exercise its foreign policy, extensive works on diplomatic engagements  are required.