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Somalia’s Cabinet Holds Emergency Meeting After Port Deal between Ethiopia and Somaliland

The Somalian cabinet will convene on Tuesday to discuss the plan after the deal to allow Ethiopia to use the Red Sea port of Berbera was signed the previous day. Tension has been simmering around the Horn of Africa as Ethiopia has raised its bid for access to a seaport. Since Eritrea gained independence in 1991, Ethiopia has been landlocked. That has left Africa’s second most populous country relying on neighbouring Djibouti for most of its maritime trade. But the agreement, signed in Addis Ababa by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi, will clear the way for Ethiopia to set up commercial marine operations with access to a leased military base on the Red Sea, Abiy’s National Security adviser, Redwan Hussien, said. In return, Somaliland would receive a share of state-owned Ethiopian Airlines, Redwan said, without giving more details. As part of the port deal, Ethiopia would be the first country to recognise Somaliland as an independent nation in due course.