How does Somaliland complicate matters?

Somaliland declared its independence in 1991. But it is still internationally recognised as a de jure part of Somalia.

Ethiopia, Turkey and Djibouti have established consulates in Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital city. Other countries such as Kenya and the UAE have liaison offices there. But only the UAE and Ethiopia have bypassed Mogadishu to make deals directly with the Somaliland government even though the UAE publicly supports the territorial integrity of Somalia.

The UAE’s deal involved setting up a military base in Somaliland and training Somaliland’s security forces.

In January 2024 Ethiopia and Somaliland signed a memorandum of understanding under which Somaliland has offered Ethiopia port access through a lease for 50 years of 20km of Somaliland’s coastline. In return, Ethiopia would give Somaliland diplomatic recognition.

Somalia countered the announcement of this deal by making Turkey a key security partner. Turkey is to train and equip Somalia’s naval force and help patrol the Somalia’s coastline.

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