By: Mahmud Walaleye
Somalilandsun - A delegation from Ethiopia's Somali Regional State concluded its visit in Somaliland on Sunday 20 October 2013 where they made discussions and set workable directions for future cooperation including on security.
The delegation made discussions with highest officials of a number of Somaliland institutions including the Somaliland Office of Presidency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior and members of Ethiopian Somali community residing in Hargeisa.
The discussions were made as part of the agreement reached between the Government of Ethiopia and Somaliland administration to exchange regular meetings, exchange views and put in place workable directions which will help strengthen the overall cooperation between the two sides. Other understandings existing between the two sides include extradition of criminals and on trade expansion. Further negotiations are continuing to sign a more complete and comprehensive trade agreement.
Among the discussions include the current security situation in the region and at common borders and both sides have agreed to maintain the exchange of frequent visits and the convening of regular meetings at all levels so as to exchange information, evaluate implementation performances and define fitting plans based on present and future situations on the ground. Accordingly, an understanding has been reached to convene joint meetings between security experts and police forces at every shortest possible time.
Other security matters discussed include the importance of exercising maximum vigilance against common enemies who are trying to hide themselves among the peaceful and trying to make damage Somaliland and infiltrate into Ethiopia to make havoc. The delegation which noted the reliable and coordinated security arrangements being put in place to ensure the peaceful celebration of the approaching Ethiopian Peoples, Nations and Nationalities day in Jigjiga also briefed the Somaliland side on arrangements requiring their collaboration as well as communication to their public to be aware of that.
According to Somalilandsun and Ogaal sources On Eritrea, the delegation explained about the availability of credible evidences on Eritrea's continuation of orchestrating anti-Ethiopian plots. The regime in Eritrea is currently infiltrating trained destabilizing forces into Somaliland and other parts of Somalia. Among their missions include organizing themselves here and cross into Ethiopia to create havoc whenever they find any opportunity and maintaining their support to members of al-shabaab and other extremist elements that are now becoming the weakest of all the times but still striving to revive again.
The Ethiopian delegation while noting Ethiopia's strongest capacity of containing and eliminating any major orchestrations of disruptions at their earliest stages also pointed out the importance of continuous follow up and proper information exchange and of taking coordinated measures against them when deemed necessary.
Discussions with members of Ethiopian Somali community residing in Hargeisa focused on ways of addressing their challenges and supporting them to be part of their country's development and renaissance. The Consulate General office has always been ready in rendering any possible support and facilitation to the Ethiopian community in Hargeisa. As part of its effort to address their challenges, mobilize their active participation in their country's stability and development and ensure their benefit, the office is planning to convene a discussion session with Ethiopian communities residing in Hargeisa and its surroundings shortly with plans to follow suit in other parts of Somaliland.
Members of the delegation also exchanged views with staffs of Ethiopia's Consulate General Office in Hargeisa on Saturday 19th of October 2013 about the outcomes of the discussions and on the agreed-upon future directions. Head of Ethiopia's Consulate General in Hargeisa- Somaliland, Brigadier General Berhe Tesfay who noted the strong cooperation that exist between Ethiopia and Somaliland on matters pertaining to security, infrastructure, trade, investment as well as other political and social affairs such as education and health also pointed out Ethiopia's readiness to transform the relation into a strategic partnership. He said Ethiopia has always been supporting efforts aimed at ensuring mutual peace, stability and prosperity including in Somaliland. It has provided and continues to provide capacity building and other security and political supports to the Somaliland administration and people.
Ethiopia has also been advocating consistently and pushing the international community to encourage the peaceful settlement of any internal outstanding issues on one hand but also to consider special arrangements of providing development support to regions with relative peace and stability such as Somaliland in a way whereby mutual accountability would be ensured. In light of this, it has been a very welcome development to see the endorsement by the international community of a Special Arrangement for Somaliland (SSA) in a meeting held recently in Brussels. The arrangement would pave the way for the international community to support the Somaliland National Development Plan through the Somaliland Development Bank established in 2012 through the support of the UK and Danish which is being operational. Ethiopia will in fact continue pursuing its diplomatic engagement which will help to ensure peace and stability in the region including in Somaliland. It will continue its meaningful cooperation with the Somaliland government in as many focal areas as possible based on priorities identified by the administration. The proper delivery of promises Special Arrangement for Somaliland (SSA) would be paramount importance in improving major social services.
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By ABDI GULED and JASON STRAZIUSO Associated Press
Foreign military forces carried out a pre-dawn strike Saturday against foreign fighters in the same southern Somalia village where U.S. Navy SEALS four years ago killed a most-wanted al-Qaida operative, officials said.
The strike was carried out in the town of Barawe in the hours before morning prayers against what one official said were "high-profile" targets. The strike comes exactly two weeks after al-Shabab militants attacked Nairobi's Westgate Mall, a four-day terrorist assault that killed at least 67 people in neighboring Kenya.
The leader of al-Shabab, Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, also known as Ahmed Godane, claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was in retaliation for Kenya's military deployment inside Somalia.
A resident of Barawe — a seaside town 240 kilometers (150 miles) south of Mogadishu — said by telephone that heavy gunfire woke up residents before dawn prayers. An al-Shabab fighter who gave his name as Abu Mohamed said "foreign" soldiers attacked a house, prompting militants to rush to the scene to capture a foreign soldier. Mohamed said that effort was not successful.
The foreign troops attacked a two-story house close to the beach in Barawe, battling their way inside, said Mohamed, who said he had visited the scene of the attack. Foreign fighters resided in the house, Mohamed said. Al-Shabab has a formal alliance with al-Qaida, and hundreds of foreign fighters from the U.S., Britain and Middle Eastern countries are known to fight alongside Somali members of al-Shabab.
A Somalia intelligence official said the targets of the raid were "high-profile" foreigners in the house. The intelligence official also said the strike was carried out by a foreign military. Somalia's nascent army does not have the ability to carry out a stealth night-time strike. A second intelligence official also confirmed the attack. Both insisted on anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
Foreign militaries — often the U.S. but not always — have carried out several strikes inside Somalia in recent years against al-Shabab or al-Qaida leaders, as well as criminal kidnappers.
A Western intelligence official said it appeared likely that either U.S. or French forces carried out the attack. The official insisted on anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
Another resident of Barawe, who gave his name as Mohamed Bile, said militants in Barawe closed down the town in the hours after the assault, and that all traffic and movements have been restricted. Militants were carrying out house-to-house searches, likely to find evidence that a spy had given intelligence to a foreign power used to launch the attack, he said.
"We woke up to find al-Shabab fighters had sealed off the area and their hospital is also inaccessible," Bile told The Associated Press by phone. "The town is in a tense mood."
In September 2009 a daylight commando raid carried out by Navy SEALs in Barawe killed six people, including Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, one of the most-wanted al-Qaida operatives in the region and an alleged plotter in the 1998 bombings at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 250 people.
Military raids carried out by troops on the ground carry the risk of a troops being killed or captured, but they also allow the forces to collect bodies or other material as evidence. Missile strikes from sea of unmanned drones carry less risk to troops but increase the chances of accidental civilian deaths.
Prof Muse Tegegne
- Prof. Muse Tegegne has lectured sociology Change & Liberation in Europe, Africa and Americas. He has obtained Doctorat es Science from the University of Geneva. A PhD in Developmental Studies & ND in Natural Therapies. He wrote on the problematic of the Horn of Africa extensively. He Speaks Amharic, Tigergna, Hebrew, English, French. He has a good comprehension of Arabic, Spanish and Italian.