AU calls for peace between Ethiopia and Somalia after Red Sea deal

African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The African Union Commission (AUC) has called for the de-escalation of tension between Ethiopia and Somalia after the former signed an agreement with Somaliland to access the Red Sea.

AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki, in a statement, urged the two countries to maintain mutual respect and resolve their differences amicably. 

AU expressed concern over the growing tension resulting from the signing of the MoU between Ethiopia and Somaliland. 

"The Chairperson calls for calm and mutual respect to de-escalate the simmering tension between the Governments of Ethiopia and the Federal Republic of Somalia. In this regard, he urges the two countries to refrain from any action that unintentionally may lead to a deterioration of the good relations between the two neighboring Eastern African countries," said Faki. 

"He urges the two brother countries to engage without delay in a negotiation process to settle their differences in the most constructive, peaceful, and collaborative manner.”

AU reacted following rising tension that resulted after landlocked Ethiopia signed an initial agreement with Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland on January 1 to use its Red Sea port of Berbera.

Ethiopia lost access to its Red Sea ports in the early 1990s when Eritrean insurgents in the country’s north gained control of its northern coastal region which was a former Italian colony.