There has historically been gracious joint relationship between Somaliland and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Since regaining independence from the failed Great Somalia in 1991, unlike elsewhere in the region, Somaliland has regarded the cordial ties with Ethiopia imperative for the shared interests in the political, diplomatic, commercial and socioeconomic relations of brother nations and in similar way Ethiopia cares for the two-way cooperation towards the multipurpose interests of the two countries. Of course, there have always been bilateral agreements upon the maintenance and promoting their joint cooperation and more specific on the political and security sector issues keeping in mind the endless chaos in the region as well as the international terror issues. The two countries also adopted joint agreement on bigger trade and cooperation interventions.
However, the emergence of such Sultan Wabar Terrorist Group hiding said to be hiding somewhere in the border of Ethiopia (Zone Five) with Somaliland is the first incident of insecurity ever occurred in the history of Somaliland and Ethiopia friendly relations. No Somalilander ever thought of that any type of hostile group would invade the territory and security of Somaliland while escaping to the border of Ethiopia. It is questionable what happened and why Ethiopia (Both the Somali Regional State/Zone Five and the Federal State) are reluctant to take right action against this defected Sultan Wabar and the armed violence his forming inside the border of Ethiopia? Why Ethiopia is not responding while the coward Sultan Wabar Terrorist Group targeting key figures and killing our beloved armed forces in the night time escaping to the border of Ethiopia at Zone Five? Why this has been happening throughout this year? Why Ethiopia has allowed presence and formation of such hostile group detrimental to Somaliland security in their border? Has the new prime minister come up with different policy or has the Zone Five Somali Regional State wrongly interpret the case of Sultan Wabar and hosted?
I don’t think anything has negatively changed of the Ethio-Somaliland relations and never will but yet there is negligence on the part of Ethiopia to react. We believe Ethiopia is ours and we believe the existence and strengths of bilateral relation and cooperation is beneficial for both nations and forever will be.
Furthermore, there ought to be external intervention of Somaliland enemy in the case of Sultan Wabar which even Ethiopia may not be aware. The issue is bigger than disagreement of traditional elder with his authorities but Sultan Wabar declared war on Somaliland. Republic of Somaliland is enough powerful to get rid of all that detrimental to its peace stability but this case is just like the Somali proverb that implies “The axe could not cut the tree if part of the tree were not with the axe.” As Somalilanders we were never expecting our enemy would hide and get shelter in the land of Ethiopia but were watching out from other directions?
Finally, I conclude my short piece of writing to say Somaliland peace stability is not only vital for Somalilanders but also very essential for Ethiopia interests and the Terrorist “Sultan Wabar” is thus perilous to both nations.
I hope the brother nations of Somaliland and Ethiopia would jointly and promptly end the aggressive and violent insecurity of Sultan Wabar.
Muna Abdi (Somalilander)
Candidate for Master Degree in Peace and Conflict