July 14, 2024


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Ethiopia and Somaliland agreement raises tension in the Red Sea

Ethiopia and Somaliland agreement raises tension in the Red Sea

The text of the declaration could be as follows: A landlocked state seeks an extension of the sea coast; Payment for rent or purchase is negotiable, but cash is out of the question; An enthusiastic buyer is willing to spruce up any necklace with a few free gifts.

Sovereign real estate deals may seem like ancient history, but they still exist. Even in 2024, state land could become a commodity that can be sold or rented at the right price. This practice may seem like plunder, but it is a better alternative to military coercion.

On January 1, Ethiopia, the world's most populous country with no access to the sea, signed a preliminary agreement to lease a 20-kilometer (12-mile) stretch of coast from its neighbor for half a century. Further negotiations are expected, including on prices and payment terms, and a final agreement could be reached as soon as this year.

the problem? Well, there are many. To begin with, the seller is a breakaway state called Somaliland, which lacks international standing. UN recognized owner of the land – Somalia – He says the deal is illegal. Then there is the issue of money: Ethiopia, embroiled in a raging civil war, is a poor country that defaulted on its international sovereign debt on Christmas Day; Instead of cash, it offers a portion of the state-owned airline.

Ethiopia is also offering a diplomatic freebie: it will accept Somaliland as an independent state, further inflaming tensions in the Horn of Africa. The region is already witnessing several armed conflicts, in addition to escalating acts of piracy in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, including across the sea from Yemen. So far only Taiwan recognizes Somaliland As a country, although the African region declared its independence in 1991.

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