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Domestic and International Law Unequivocal on Ethiopia’s Actions, Empowers Somalia to Self-Defense- Legal Researcher

Storyline:National News

GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: Ethiopia’s signing of an MoU with the breakaway region of Somaliland and subsequent actions demonstrate a deliberate attempt to violate and interfere with Somalia’s internal affairs, a legal researcher has warned, noting that international law unequivocally provides for Somalia’s self-defense in the event of such adverse actions.

In a lengthy piece published in The Platform, a Kenyan publication, legal researcher Abdirahman Abshir says various instruments of international law clearly single Ethiopia’s actions as constituting a violation of Somalia’s political independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty.

“UN Charter, Article 2(4) of the Charter dictates that all members of the UN Charter must refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, the author argues, adding, “Article 4(g) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, on a similar tangent, also condemns the interfering in the internal affairs of another state.”

Further, the researcher notes, “Article 2(4) of the UN Charter was further interpreted in the UNGA Resolution No. 2625 on the Declaration of the Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.”


He argues that after signing the MoU with Somaliland on January 1, Ethiopia has sought to exert pressure on Somalia and orchestrated a series of propaganda campaigns to the detriment of the country’s inviolable rights.

By aiming to seek space for a naval base, Ethiopia was aiming to establish a military presence in Somalia and effectively exert political and economic pressure on Somalia. Ethiopia, too, the author says, has engaged in subversive interventions through propaganda campaigns. He notes that Ethiopia was spreading false claims that Somaliland was forced into a union with Somalia in 1960 contrary to the known fact that the two sides voluntarily signed the Act of Union in July 1960 to form the Republic of Somalia.

“Ethiopia’s propaganda and intentional misleading of the Somaliland peoples are intended to be coercive by intentionally instigating or aggravating civil unrest in Somalia,” the article reads in part.


 The author further argues that both international law and Somalia’s Provisional Constitution do not donate any powers to the leaders in Somaliland to enter into any international agreements.

“To reiterate, Somaliland is not a de jure state but rather a region of Somalia and Muse Bihi, the leader  of said region does not and cannot represent Somalia in the conclusion of international agreements.”

Any action committed by Bihi in connection to the conclusion of the MoU, Abshir states, has no legal effect whatsoever until confirmed by the government in Mogadishu.

“Article 7(2) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties states that only Heads of States, Heads of Government and Ministers of Foreign Affairs for the purposes of performing acts relating to the conclusion of a treaty.”

In response to these outright violations, the author contends, Somalia is within the remit of international law to self defence.

“Given Ethiopia’s intention to station a permanent navy presence in Somalia’s territorial waters at the Port of Berbera without the consent of Somalia, Article 51 of the UN Charter will be triggered. The moment that Ethiopian forces enter Somalia’s territory without Somalia’s consent, this will constitute an armed attack.”

As such, Abshir says, Somalia will invoke self-defense and defend its territorial integrity.

You can read the full article here