Hargeysa (PPM) — A senior member of a Somaliland opposition party urged Somaliland Government to be aware of geopolitical trends in the Horn of Africa. Hussein Ahmed Aidid, a member of the opposition party, Waddani, cited an essay posted in Somtribune, a news website. The essay featured a consultation document co-signed by the former British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ernest Bevin.
Aidid said that what was then known as “Reserve Area ( Haud)” had been under the Ethiopian control”. The Reserve Area had been under British Somaliland Protectorate when Bevin wrote the letter. The letter was written in 1946, four years after the end of the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration in Ethiopia, and eight years before the Reserve Area had been annexed to Imperial Ethiopia. Somalis in the British Somaliland Protectorate expected Great Britain would honour the Protectorate Agreement and consult them on such a consequential matter although the Agreement did not give Somalis a sovereignty claim to which they were entitled.
The comment of the Somaliland politician comes in the wake of a map of dismembered Somalia posted on the Facebook page of the Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed several weeks ago. “While Ethiopia remains one country, the map divides Somaliainto white and grey parts. The grey part bears the name Somalia whereas the white area, presently known as Somaliland, remains nameless,” reported Puntland Post on the controversial map many Somalis view as a stain on the image of Ethiopian Nobel Peace Laureate. In 2019 BBC reported that Ethiopia apologised “for [a] map that erases Somalia.”
In a 1968 speech at the Royal African Society and published in African Affairs, Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal (Somali Prime Minister 1967-1969), noted agreements the British Empire secretly signed with Ethiopia in violation of the Protectorate Agreements it had signed with Somali traditional leaders.
“In 1946 there was talk of giving Ethiopia access to sea in return for a territory it controlled but today there is no a question of territory” the Hussein Ahmed Aidid told MPs at the Somaliland House of Representatives. In 1993 Ethiopia became a landlocked country after Eritrea voted to become an independent country. France is helping Ethiopia to rebuild naval force to be based in Djibouti. In 2018 the Ethiopian Prime Minister paid a visit to Mogadishu to propose a Horn of Africa Economic Integration initiative to which the weak Federal Government of Somalia signed up in principle.
© Puntland Post Monthly, 2020