Djibouti rebukes Somalia over call to lift sanctions against Eritrea

We will not tolerate with ruthless talks while our young men and women are yet here defending Somalia’s peace and stability

T. Roble

Djibouti has lashed out at Somalia’s President Mohamed Farmaajo terming his call for lifting of UN sanctions against Eritrea as ‘deeply shocking’ adding it would not tolerate such talks ‘yet Djiboutian young men and women are here defending Somalia’s peace and stability.’

Reacting to President Farmaajo’s call to the UN Security Council to lift sanctions against the hermetic Red Sea nation during a historic visit last week, Djiboutian Embassy in Somalia said Wednesday it was unacceptable for Somalia to urge support for Eritrea which ‘has been destablising neighbouring countries and more particularly its support for Somalia’s A-Shabaab terrorist group and for its territorial dispute with the Republic of Djibouti.’

The UN Security Council put Eritrea on a sanctions list in 2009 over claims it was funding the militant group Al-Shabaab in Somalia and has since been monitoring its activities through the UN Monitoring Group.

Both Somalia and Ethiopian leaders have in the past week called on the UN to lift sanctions against Eritrea amid thawing of relations spearheaded by Ethiopia’s Ahmed Abiy whose visit to Eritrea late July resulted in a declaration of ‘end of war’ by both countries.

The calls emboldened Eritrea to urge removal of the sanctions. “It has been nine years since the UN Security Council was prodded to pass unlawful sanctions against Eritrea,” a statement from Eritrea’s Ministry of Information read in part Monday.  The deplorable sanctions were not based on fact and law.  They were maliciously concocted by a small clique in Washington which was working in cahoots with the TPLF regime in order to harass and corner the people and Government of Eritrea.” Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF is a faction of the ruling EPRDF party in Ethiopia.

BORDER DISPUTES

Following Abiy’s visit, Farmaajo made a sojourn to Asmara where the two countries also announced restoration of diplomatic relations. But President’s Farmaajo’s statement during a banquet in Asmara has irked Mogadishu’s ally, Djibouti which maintains its disputes with Eritrea are not about to be resolved.

“We urge all economic sanctions and embargo imposed on the people of Eritrea must be lifted so that the economic integration of the Horn of Africa region can be realized,” President Farmaajo said Sunday.

Djibouti has however taken issue with Farmaajo’s statement noting whereas Somalia had a right to pursue its own diplomatic course, its support for Eritrea was unacceptable.

“As a sovereign state, there is no doubt that Somali has the right to establish diplomatic relations with the countries if the region, however it is unacceptable to see our brotherly Somalia supporting Eritrea which occupying (sic) part of our territory and still denying having Djiboutian prisoners,” a statement from the Djibouti embassy in Mogadishu read in part.

Djibouti information minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf Tuesday dismissed as rumours claims Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh would be heading to Asmara next week.

“There are false rumors circulating in the social media that pdt Guelleh is going to Asmara next week. The crisis between Djibouti and Eritrea has not been resolved yet,” the minister said in a tweet.

The embassy added both Djibouti and Eritrea still had border disputes which ‘President Farmaajo ought to have mentioned in his statement’.

“We will not tolerate with ruthless talks while our young men and women are yet here defending Somalia’s peace and stability,” Djibouti said.

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