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Tensions between Ethiopia and Egypt are at an all-time high as the two fail to come to an amicable decision concerning the River Nile waters. Ethiopia recently expressed concern over a purported plan by the Egyptian side to establish a military base in the Republic of Somaliland.

The plans by Egypt to establish a military base in Somaliland comes several months after Russia also expressed similar interests, something that could significantly boost Hargeisa’s ongoing campaigns to have it recognized internationally. Moreover, the establishment of the military base by Egypt in the state that borders Ethiopia is a very visible power move by the Egyptian side and subtle aggression against Ethiopia over the construction and filling of the Grand Renaissance Dam along the Blue Nile.

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Somaliland is being considered strategic due to its long coastline but years of crisis with Somalia have narrowed chances of the region giving access to the rest of the world by hosting the world’s biggest military powerhouses. Despite Somaliland not having international recognition since its restoration of its independence from Somalia in 1991 the legitimacy it’s so badly seeks could be granted by leveraging the superpowers with military bases to lobby for its international recognition.

Last week, an Egyptian delegation visited Hargeisa for two days where they held a series of top meetings including being hosted by President Muse Bihi Abdi at the presidential palace. The meeting has since irked both Ethiopia and Mogadishu who have very strong bilateral relations with each other compared to what both have with Egypt.

It is believed that a new alliance (between Egypt and Somaliland) appears to be Egypt’s revenge on Somalia after it sided with Ethiopia. Most Arab League states have sided with Egypt in the dispute over the Nile with Ethiopia who has received support from Somalia.

Source: Strategic Intelligence

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