Somalia trades fish for Ethiopian khat over trade deal
MOGADISHU, Somalia – After days of speculation, it is now official that Somalia will receive Ethiopian khat in exchange for fish, following the latest deal signed by senior officials from the two countries, which rekindled bilateral ties just two years ago. after decades of animosity.
Since the Ogaden War, Somalia and Ethiopia have never been best friends, their relationship falling apart when Addis Ababa was accused of targeting innocent civilians during the crackdown on the Al-Shabaab activists in 2008.
But in 2018, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed revived bilateral relations with Somalia, and the two countries have maintained close cooperation, which is sometimes suspect to opposition on both sides. Ahmed and Farmajo worked closely together.
On Sunday, the two countries reportedly signed a major deal that would be mutually beneficial. The agreement was signed at Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu and was honored by senior officials from both countries.
Abdillahi Bidhan, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources as well as Transport and Aviation boss Duran Ahmed Farah attended the occasion, which was also attended by Ethiopia’s envoy to Somalia among others. high dignitaries. The deal, they noted, will boost trade between the two countries.
Somalia has already exported a batch of 5,000 tonnes of fish to Ethiopia to start the process. Those with the know-how said the cooperation will boost trade in addition to creating jobs, thus boosting economic development in the Horn of Africa.
Last week, federal government ministers and a group of Ethiopian and Turkish businessmen visited the former district of Warsheikh in the Middle Shabelle region, exploring investment and trade opportunities for fish. This marked the start of a plan to sign cooperation.
Ethiopia is a major security partner of Somalia, having deployed nearly 4,000 Ethiopian National Defense Forces peacekeepers [ENDF] who inhabit sections of the southwest and Jubaland. The team is also credited with expelling Al-Shabaab from Mogadishu.
But it was the non-Amisom contingent of nearly 1,000 troops that sparked the conflict, with the opposition accusing the government of working with the Ethiopians to dethrone some heads of state. Jubaland, they claim, has been targeted by the strategy.
The signing of the deal comes as Somalia refused to lift the ban on the importation of Miraa from Kenya. The ban remains active even after the two countries agreed to normalize relations last week, with their foreign ministers also meeting at the Antalya conference in Turkey this weekend.
Shockingly, some claim that a brother of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo could be behind the deal with Ethiopia, where he has an interest in Khat. A report compiled by Axadleimplicated Villa Somalia in the latest deal, which could spark friction in the country’s domestic politics.