Somaliland government has stated any discussion or coalition to handle the Red Sea must involve the country.
Somaliland President Musa Bihi spoke out against the coalition of forces that want to form a task force in the Red Sea to control and manage security matters.
Speaking at a ceremony for the 32nd batch of police and military officers who graduated from the Mandera Police Academy, Bihi Abdi said: “ Somaliland would never accept foreign troops to take charge of security matters for our land or sea without consulting us.”
The President has requested the matter to be resolved diplomatically with all stakeholders.
In February last year, the foreign ministers of Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Sudan gathered in Djibouti and focused their discussions on the geopolitical and security challenges that countries on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden were facing.
And on April 4, a task force was established to build a common position and strategy to respond to the challenges and opportunities in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
But Somaliland which boasts of a longer chunk of the coastline alongside the Red Sea (850 kilometres) than any other IGAD member state now wants to be included in the task force.
The internationally unrecognized nation stated it has long been committed to safeguarding and ensuring that the territorial waters straddling its 850-kilometre coastline remain safe and secure from piracy and other forms of terrorism and thus must be respected and recognized as a key stakeholder.
The Somaliland government said it recognizes the strategic importance of the Red Sea for the peace and security of the region and in principal welcomes the need to develop a common position to protect these waters.
“Because of that recognition Somaliland has long been committed to safeguarding and ensuring that the territorial waters straddling its 850 KM coastline remain safe and secure from piracy and other forms of terrorism.”
“We believe that safeguarding the security of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden waters concerns all countries that share these coastal waters, and we support multilateral solutions to our common challenges.”
BY ODINDO AYIEKO