Somalia Expels Ethiopian Ambassador Amid Rising Diplomatic Tensions

On Thursday, Somalia issued a directive for the Ethiopian ambassador to depart the country within 72 hours and ordered the shutdown of Ethiopia’s diplomatic outposts in the breakaway Somaliland region and the semi-autonomous region of Puntland.

The government’s resolution mandates that diplomats and staff at these consulates leave Somalia within a week. Additionally, Somalia’s Foreign Ministry has expelled the Ethiopian ambassador and summoned its ambassador from Ethiopia back for consultations. The government’s actions were prompted by accusations of Ethiopian interference in Somalia’s domestic matters.

Ethiopia has yet to formally respond to this expulsion directive, though officials at its embassy in Mogadishu acknowledged receiving the notice. This expulsion follows tensions escalated by a memorandum of understanding signed between Ethiopia and Somaliland three months prior, which Somalia criticized as a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The agreement aimed to grant Ethiopia access to the sea via Somaliland, with Ethiopia in turn recognizing Somaliland as an independent state.

Moreover, discussions on trade took place on Wednesday between Ethiopia’s foreign minister and representatives from Puntland, which proceeded without the Somali federal government’s prior agreement. The relations between Somalia and Ethiopia, which had been cordial, deteriorated in January of this year after the agreement with Somaliland, leading to a strain in diplomatic relations between the two East African countries.