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North Eastern MPs call for an end to Ethiopia-Somaliland treaty

 Lagdera MP Abdikadir Mohamed, Adan Keynan (Eldas), Farah Maalim (Dadaab) and Fafi MP Salah Yakub. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Members of Parliament (MPs) from North Eastern Kenya are calling for the immediate cancellation of a Memorandum of Understanding of Partnerships and Cooperation signed between Ethiopia and the Somaliland region of Somalia.

The MoU, which was entered into this year between the two nations, saw Somaliland agreeing to lease a 20km stretch of seaport access to Ethiopian Naval Forces for 50 Years in exchange for international recognition.

But now, lawmakers led by Eldas MP Adan Keynan have appealed to the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations to intervene and ensure termination of the MoU, which they termed as a “blatant provocation” and breach of territorial integrity on the part of Ethiopia.

They are concerned that the failure of Ethiopia to act within the confines of international law will stifle relations between countries in the region.

“From the outset, we unequivocally state that the Ethiopian Government’s action to enter into an agreement and effectively establish direct international relations with a region of Somalia is in breach of the territorial integrity and abuse of the political independence of the State of Somalia," said Keynan.

"Ethiopia is a signatory to the UN Charter, the African Union Constitutive Act, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and other international treaties that regulate conduct and relations between nations. As such, we find it bizarre that it has chosen to act unconscientiously."

In a statement issued in Parliament yesterday, the MPs claimed that Ethiopia had acted in violation of the United Nations charter.

They said their stance on the matter was aimed at forestalling the historical spillover of chaos, conflict and insecurity in the Horn of Africa region and was in the spirit of good neighbourliness, given the ethnic and cultural ties between the people of North Eastern Kenya and Somalia as well as the good relations between Kenya and Somalia.

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