Addis Abeba – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told lawmakers today that it was not necessary for the government neighboring Somalia to go around other countries to accuse Ethiopia when issues between Ethiopia and Somalia due to the former’s attempts to secure direct access to the Red Sea, can be settled with “one hour flight and one our discussion with us.

“It is very simple because we have no fight with the Somali government,” PM Abiy said, but instead, the Somali government “chose to go around and accuse us.”

“My advice is don’t waste money; we spend money when we go around countries,” he said in a direct message. “There is no need to go around other countries to accuse us when it is possible to come to us in Addis Abeba. We are ready for a discussion, he said, adding that the money can be better spent on “building a one km walkway, or one school in Mogadishu; the people will benefit” from that, he said.

Ethiopia follows neighbor-centered and friendly foreign policy approach and the people of Somalia and the various Somali clans “live within us; we have sacrificed for peace in Somalia and the ruling party is showing its respect to Somalia and its people “more than any other government,” PM Abiy said, Ethiopia has “empowered” Somalia, and that the Ethiopian government “has no question about Somalia’s unity.”

Speaking about the 01 January Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Somaliland, Abiy said it was signed after Ethiopia “had tabled the question to all our neighbors and received no response; after we begged [and] asked all, not because we have questions about Somalia’s unity.”

The Premier also pushed back against accusations that his government is working to dismantle Somalia. “Ethiopia doesn’t want the disintegration of Somalia; it would not have sacrificed its children” if it wanted that.

Addis Standard