Somalia Denies Entry to Ethiopian Plane Destined for Somaliland

Somalia Rejects Ethiopian Officials’ Visit to Somaliland, Escalating Diplomatic Tensions

Somalia has refused entry to a plane carrying Ethiopian officials bound for the self-declared republic of Somaliland, marking a significant escalation in the ongoing diplomatic dispute between the two nations.

According to Somalia’s information minister the plane lacked authorization to enter Somali airspace. The Ethiopian delegation was scheduled to discuss a controversial agreement signed on January 1st, which has sparked a major dispute. This deal would allow Somaliland to lease one of its ports to Ethiopia in exchange for a stake in Ethiopian Airlines and potential recognition of Somaliland as an independent state.

Somalia, which considers Somaliland part of its territory, has vehemently opposed the agreement, denouncing it as an act of aggression. The Somali Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) has accused the flight (ET8273) of violating international protocols by attempting to land at Hargeisa Airport in Somaliland without proper clearance.

Despite this incident, regular flights between Somalia and Ethiopia continue as usual, according to the SCAA. While Ethiopia’s government has not issued a statement, the head of Ethiopian Airlines confirmed the return of the aircraft to Addis Ababa.

Somaliland, a former British protectorate that declared independence from Somalia in 1991, operates as a de facto independent state with its own governance, security forces, and currency. However, it has not received international recognition.

By denying entry to the Ethiopian plane, Somalia is signaling its refusal to acknowledge Somaliland’s independence. The United States and the African Union have expressed support for Somalia’s territorial integrity and have called for calm amid the escalating tensions between Somalia and Ethiopia.

Piers Potter


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