The Somali government has turned down negotiations with Ethiopia over a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Ethiopia and Somaliland in January 2024, demanding Ethiopia’s withdrawal from the agreement as a condition for dialogue.

The Somali government’s refusal to engage in negotiations with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, has sparked a diplomatic standoff, with Somalia demanding Ethiopia’s withdrawal from the agreement as a precondition for dialogue.

Despite Ethiopia’s unwavering commitment to the MoU, tensions between the two nations have escalated significantly. Somalia’s rejection of calls for dialogue from the G7, a group of influential countries, and the African Union has further complicated the situation. The G7’s support for Ethiopia’s calls for dialogue with Somalia, following the signing of the MoU, has been met with resistance from Somalia, which has imposed stringent conditions on any potential talks with Ethiopia.


Somalia’s decision to rebuff the G7’s push for dialogue has been met with criticism, with some viewing it as a display of amateurish politics. The disagreement between Somalia and Ethiopia has underscored the complexities of the situation, with Somalia advocating for the outright condemnation of the MoU while Ethiopia seeks to uphold its agreement with Somaliland. This rift has only served to reinforce Somaliland’s position that Somalia lacks the maturity and rationality required to engage effectively in diplomatic negotiations.

Somali Government Reject Dialogue With Ethiopia In Latest Diplomatic Standoff
From left Somalia’s president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Photo File

In a press statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Somalia on April 19, 2024, Somalia expressed appreciation for the G7’s efforts to advance peace, security, and stability in the region. The statement highlighted Somalia’s commitment to upholding peace and security in the Horn of Africa and its willingness to collaborate with international partners to achieve lasting peace and prosperity in the region. However, Somalia reiterated that dialogue with Ethiopia would remain unattainable until Ethiopia revoked the MoU with Somaliland and demonstrated full respect for Somalia’s unity, sovereignty, and non-interference.

The statement also acknowledged the progress made by Somalia in various sectors, including institutional, macroeconomic, and security reforms. Somalia reiterated its dedication to combating the terrorist group Al Shabaab and strengthening its institutional framework. The smooth transition of security responsibilities from the African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) was emphasized as crucial for national stability, with Somalia actively engaging with the African Union and international partners to ensure a successful transition while enhancing its security capabilities with global support.

The current standoff between Somalia and Ethiopia underscores the complex dynamics at play in the Horn of Africa and the challenges of navigating diplomatic relations in the region. As the situation continues to evolve, it remains to be seen whether a resolution can be reached that satisfies the interests and concerns of all parties involved.

The international community will be closely monitoring developments in the region as efforts to promote peace, security, and stability in the Horn of Africa persist amidst diplomatic tensions.

Somali Government Reject Dialogue With Ethiopia In Latest Diplomatic Standoff