What?! UAE-brokered agreement between Ethiopia and Madobe could threaten Villa Somalia’s stability

What?! Uae-brokered Agreement Between Ethiopia And Madobe Could Threaten Villa Somalia's Stability

The recent agreement between Ethiopia and Jubaland State in Somalia has caused confusion in the political landscape, particularly as relations between the two have been strained since 2019.

The UAE played a major role in brokering the deal, which involved top officials from the Ethiopian National Defence Forces, intelligence officers, and Jubaland President Ahmed Mohamed Madobe.

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This shift away from traditional regional alliances and rivalries could have implications for the relationship between Somalia’s central government, Jubaland, and Ethiopia. Experts note that the UAE’s involvement instead of Kenya, Jubaland’s old traditional ally, could have unforeseen consequences for regional politics and could leave Kenya feeling blindsided.

During the Addis Ababa talks, the Ethiopian intelligence and army chiefs accepted Madobe’s request for the country’s military to abandon a planned joint military offensive involving the Ethiopian military and local forces based in Gedo aimed at capturing Buale, a major al-Shabab stronghold.

The liberation of Buaale without Jubaland’s involvement was perceived as a threat to Madobe, which could weaken his political influence in the region.

In return for abandoning the planned offensive, Ethiopia committed to stepping back from the region’s internal political affairs, and Madobe would have to reestablish and forge closer ties with Gedo’s administration by fulfilling the demands by the rebellious region.

The agreement represents a slap in the face of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who has been at odds with Madobe over the struggle for the control of the Gedo region, located across the border between Somalia and Kenya.

The deal effectively gives the Jubaland’s leader a significant advantage in the dispute with the central government over the strategic region, thereby putting him at stronger positions to consolidate his power across Jubaland at the expense of Mohamud’s government.

Despite the significant achievement by Madobe, however, the agreement does not grant him complete authority over Gedo, as Ethiopia has made it clear that they will not force the region to accept his demands. Instead, the deal aims to collaborate and reach a consensus over their long-standing political and security disputes.

According to reliable sources, Ethiopia has also pledged to withdraw 12,000 non-ATMIS troops stationed in Gedo’s borders originally planned to help liberate Buale, which is a significant achievement for Madobe.

The agreement hands Ethiopia the key cards and greater influence in the Federal Member State, making it essentially a crucial external actor in the region. Through its role in facilitating the talks between Ethiopia and Jubaland, the UAE asserts itself as a formidable stakeholder.

Somalia’s reaction to the agreement was muted. However, the president of the country’s central government, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has a reason to be concerned about the growing UAE clout in this area.

This development will likely have significant implications for Somalia’s diplomacy and poses a challenge to Villa Somalia, the government’s seat of power in Mogadishu.

The UAE’s involvement in Somalia’s politics is not new, as the country has been actively supporting various regional leaders and administrations for years. Under the terms of the deal, Ethiopia has agreed to support Ahmed Madobe’s Jubaland administration in exchange for his cooperation in the region and Somalia as a whole.

This development has however unnerved the Somali Government, with its officials privately accusing the UAE of interfering in its internal affairs. Saying that the deal violates Somalia’s sovereignty and undermines its efforts to establish a unified federal system.

The deal between Ethiopia and Ahmed Madobe is likely to deepen the rift between the Somali government and regional administrations, further complicating efforts to establish a stable federal system.

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