By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Somaliland’s Minister of Defence, Abdiqani Mohamoud Ateye has tendered his resignation in protest over a deal his self-acclaimed republic had, which grants Ethiopia access to the Red Sea, one of the busiest sea ports in the world.
Ateye denounced President Muse Bihi Abdi “for not consulting the council of ministers on the port deal with Ethiopia”, saying they “heard about it from the media”.
Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed last week, the landlocked Ethiopia will access the Red Sea in exchange for Addis Ababa’s recognition of Somaliland as an independent state.
Somaliland declared itself as an independent republic in 1991 but does not enjoy any international recognition. It however has its own currency, president and security forces.
Mr Ateye hails from Somaliland’s Awdal region, where Ethiopia reportedly wants to set up its military base in the coastal town of Lughaya.
Somalia has frowned at the deal between the breakaway Somaliland and Ethiopia, calling it an act of “aggression”.
It has since recalled its ambassador to Addis Ababa. Additional, it has signed a law voiding the pact.
Report has it that Ethiopia’s ambassador to Somalia has also returned to Addis Ababa amid a diplomatic row between the two countries.