Opposition parties pile pressure on President Farmaajo to withdraw Eritrea sanctions call a day after Djibouti rebuked Somalia for the remarks
A section of opposition political parties in Somalia have added voice to calls on President Mohamed Farmaajo to rescind his stance on lifting of sanctions against Eritrea terming the President’s remarks ‘a violation of all diplomatic norms and protocols’.
In a joint statement Thursday, Wadajir, Daljir, Kulan and Horusocod political parties said they were dismayed by President Farmaajo’s call on the UN Security Council to lift sanctions against Eritrea, barely a day after Djibouti filed similar discord.
“While we enthusiastically welcome the overall thawing of relations among states in the Horn of Africa,” the political parties said, “We are deeply concerned about President Farmaajo’s irresponsible and premature action at the expense of the Republic of Djibouti, which has been Somalia’s closest and most reliable ally.”
The President’s remarks during a banquet in Eritrea’s capital Asmara Sunday drew sharp reactions from Djibouti, a key ally of Somalia which expressed ‘shock’ noting President Farmaajo failed to appreciate the territoroal dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea.
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.’
Adding voice to Djibouti’s concerns over the Villa Somalia stance, the four political parties said today that whereas they welcomed the eventual restoration of relations between Somalia and Eritrea, any engagements between the two countries ‘must be considered within the broader regional context, and the inseparable interests of Somalia and Djibouti as reflected by their historical brotherly relationship.’
The UN imposed sanctions against the hermetic Red Sea nation of Eritrea in 2009 over reports it was supporting the militant group Al-Shabaab in Somalia but Ethiopia’s new leadership led by Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy has upped calls to lift the sanctions. President Farmaajo reiterated Abiy’s demand to the UN to lift sanctions during his visit last week attracting rebuke from Djibouti which termed his call as misguided.
In the statement to newsrooms Thursday, the four political parties also accused Farmaajo of rushing to settle the Eritrea issue adding that it took over a year for Ethiopia and Eritrea through secret negotiations to formally announce restoration of diplomatic relations.
“Regrettably,” the parties said, “President Farmaajo has betrayed the extraordinary sacrifices of the people and the Government of Djibouti. His decision to speak on behalf of Eritrea was in violation of all diplomatic norms and protocols”
In tendering their apologies to the people and government of Djibouti, the political parties also urged the President to rescind his position on the sanctions issue.
“We call on President Farmaajo to take all necessary measures to rectify his embarrassing gaffe and apologize to the people and Government of Djibouti for betraying their trust.”