Somalia Demands Swift Withdrawal of Ethiopian Forces: A Deadline Looms

Somalia Declares Deadline for Ethiopian Troops Exit

In a surprising turn of events, Somalia has made a bold move regarding its military and diplomatic ties with Ethiopia, signaling a significant change in the region’s security landscape.

The Somali government has officially set a timeline for the complete removal of all Ethiopian soldiers from its soil by the conclusion of December 2024. This decision comes amidst ongoing tensions between the two countries regarding Addis Ababa’s pact with North Western of Somalia, a breakaway region of Somalia, concerning a port and naval base.

Hussein Moalim, Somalia’s National Security Advisor, has verified the deadline, emphasizing the government’s commitment to see all Ethiopian troops stationed within the country depart by the year’s end. The announcement was disseminated through various media channels and social platforms, underscoring the government’s strong stance on this new policy direction.

The expulsion of Ethiopian forces is a crucial move for Somalia’s assertion of its sovereignty and control over internal security affairs. The strained relationship between Somalia and Ethiopia, exacerbated when Addis Ababa inked a contentious agreement with North Western of Somalia, has led to this decision.

The memorandum signed in January 2024 permitted Ethiopia to establish a naval facility on North Western of Somalia’s coastline, causing uproar in the Horn of Africa and sparking concerns about regional stability. Somalia viewed this as a direct challenge to its land integrity and reacted by demanding Ethiopia’s ambassador to depart within 72 hours.

The anticipated exit of Ethiopian soldiers is anticipated to have substantial ramifications on Somalia’s security landscape. These troops were part of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), a peacekeeping endeavor aimed at stabilizing the region and combatting groups like al-Shabaab. Their withdrawal may leave a security void, sparking fears of a resurgence in insurgent activity.

In light of these concerns, Somalia has proposed a new mission post-ATMIS to serve as a safeguard for local and international interests within the nation. This proposal is expected to be brought before the UN Security Council by March’s end in 2024.

As the deadline looms for the removal of Ethiopian soldiers, all attention will be on Somalia and Ethiopia to monitor how this new development influences broader security and political dynamics within the Horn of Africa.


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