The recent appointment of senior Ethiopian diplomat to Somaliland and the visit made by a delegation of traditional Oromo leaders to Hargeisa underscore the role that Somaliland could play in the turbulent Horn of Africa
As party of a routine reshuffling of its diplomatic missions worldwide, the Ethiopian Government has recently replaced their representative in Hargeisa. However, some ill-informed critics claimed that Ethiopia has indeed removed their ambassador to Somaliland as part of a deal they have concluded with Farmaajo of Somalia. This is despite the fact that Mogadishu has nothing to do with Hargeisa over the past 28 years.
The Ethiopian leadership is well aware of the historic ties and the strategic interests they share with the Republic of Somaliland. Therefore, it is naïve to believe that the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed would ignore the vital strategic interests of his country has with Somaliland in exchange for new relationship with far away and evidently irrelevant territories like Mogadishu or Kismayo that is still under the protection of UNSOM. Over the centuries, the people of Somaliland had played a central role in the development of towns and trade routes in the Horn of Africa. They have played leading role in the establishment the main Horn of African cities like Djibouti, Jigjiga, Diridawa, Harar, and Nairobi. The Ethiopians are well aware of the centuries old socioeconomic ties they have had with Somaliland, and the vital role that Somaliland could play in stabilizing the Region. Consequently, all evidences show that the Ethiopians are keen to foster and strengthen their relationship with Somaliland.
In a related development, a delegation of Oromo Traditional leaders has arrived in Hargeisa, the Capital of the Republic of Somaliland. This has coincided with the ongoing bloody conflict between the brotherly Oromo and Somali communities in several areas inside Ethiopia. At the Airport, the Oromo elders declared that they are in search of cooperation, peace and security in the Horn of Africa. This is another manifestation of the role that Somaliland could play in stabilizing the security situation in the Horn of Africa in the same way as their ancestors have linked the Horn to the rest of the world. According to THE PERIPLUS OF THE EYTHRAEAN SEA, which was written by Greek merchant way back in the year 40 AD (about 10 years after the death of Jesus Christ), Berbera which was then called MALAO, was the main port in the Region.
The Oromo Leaders came Hargeisa because of the collective memory of their great Nation as narrated to them by their long-gone elders. They are in search of peace and tranquility in a period of turbulence and confusion. They are tracking the footprints of wisdom where it belonged and to whom it belonged over the centuries – long before ever Tom, Dick &Harry jumped to the helm and claimed to be Wiseman
Hassan Abdi Yousuf
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
17 December 2018