Ethiopian Refugees in Somalia Fear Violence Over Deal With Somaliland – VOA News

Ethiopians living in Somalia have become the subject of physical violence, verbal threats and intimidation since Somaliland consented to give Ethiopia access to its coastline at the beginning of this year, members of the Ethiopian community tell VOA Somali Service.

Under the deal, reached on New Year’s Day, Ethiopia will be able to lease 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) around the port of Berbera, on the Gulf of Aden, with access to the Red Sea for its naval and commercial shipping needs for 50 years. In exchange, Ethiopia would consider recognizing the self-declared republic of Somaliland as an independent country and give Somaliland’s government an undetermined share in state-owned Ethiopian Airlines.

The deal has drawn harsh criticism from Somalia’s federal government, which sees Somaliland as a part of its territory. Mogadishu called the deal “an act of invasion” and promised to protect the country’s sovereignty. There have also been pro- and anti-deal demonstrations in Somaliland.[…] CONTINUE READING