UN Security Council Redirects Ethiopia-Somalia Dispute to Regional Bodies

The UN Security Council has recommended that Ethiopia and Somalia seek resolution through regional bodies, redirecting the dispute over last month’s sea-access deal to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU).

Ethiopia, emphasizing economic factors, regional integration, and peace and security, expressed its stance during the UNSC meeting under the ‘Peace and Security in Africa’ agenda on January 29.

Meles Alem, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, revealed that Ethiopia has formally requested IGAD to convene another summit for dialogue on the sea-access agreement that has sparked tensions with Mogadishu. IGAD’s official response is pending as of the latest update.

In response to Somalia’s request, the UNSC did not disclose details of the proceedings but redirected the matter to regional platforms. Ethiopia, a founding member of IGAD and the AU, has underscored the importance of regional solutions to address the dispute.

Ethiopia Acknowledges Importance of Regional Bodies
The Ethiopian government, committed to realizing sea access, considers the issue second only to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Despite not attending an IGAD extraordinary session in Uganda two weeks ago, where the Ethiopia-Somaliland Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was a key agenda item, Ethiopia seeks a regional solution through IGAD and the AU.

Somalia, invoking Article 35 of the UN Charter, had called for the UNSC to address the issue, asserting that Ethiopia’s MoU with Somaliland violates Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Somalia’s claim that Somaliland is a constituent part of Somalia formed the basis of their objection to the sea-access deal.