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Not an Inch, President Mohamud Tells Ethiopia as Somalia Declares Naval Base Deal ‘Void’

GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: Not an inch of Somali territory will be ceded to foreigners, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has said urging Ethiopia to forget about the deal it entered into with the break-away region of Somaliland on Monday.

While addressing a joint session of the Federal Parliament this afternoon, President Mohamud spoke widely about the MoU noting that it violated domestic and international law and that the Federal Government will explore all appropriate avenues to defend its territorial integrity.

The President directed his remarks to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in more than one instance, reminding him that ‘Ethiopian aggression is not new in our history,’ but this time around it will not go unchallenged. He unequivocally remarked, “No one can take an inch of Somalia.”

“Somalia belongs to Somalis. We have always defended our territorial integrity and sovereignty, and we will assert our exclusive rights in accordance with international laws. We will protect every inch of our sacred land and not tolerate attempts to relinquish any part of it,” the President said.

Noting that Somalia belonged to Somalia President Mohamud said what happened on January 1 ‘violated international law’

Turning to Somaliland, President Mohamud said, “I want to remind you that Ethiopia will not recognize.” This was in response to remarks by Somaliland President Muse Bihi that, in exchange for the naval base space, Ethiopia would be the first country to formally recognize Somaliland as an independent state.

He called on the people of Somaliland not to accept the decision.

The President further noted that the act of aggression by Ethiopia on Monday served to embolden the militant group Al-Shabaab. “The last Ethiopian aggression led by Zenawi (Meles) led to the rise of Al-Shabaab,” the President said noting, “This act serves to legitimize them.’

Earlier, the Council of Ministers declared the deal ‘illegal, null and void’ and recalled the country’s ambassador to Ethiopia for consultation.