galbeedi

Somaliland: Is Renewed Ethio-Somalia Relations Bringing The Zeila Equation Back Into Focus?

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galbeedi   

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In 1946, Ethiopia proposed to the British colonial office that it grant it access to the sea through Somaliland territory all the way to the port of Zeila.

Following up on earlier proposals on the same purpose which kept circulating to and from between the colonial office, the foreign office and the office of the Prime Minister in the ’30s, Ethiopia formulated a plan that merited a more serious consideration of the British.

Of course, and unbeknown to the local Somaliland clans, this was the second, under-handed violation to the tenets and spirit of the ‘Protectorate’ treaties the British entered with Somali clans which allowed them to set foot on Somaliland territory.

Secretary Ernest Bevin

June 13, 1946, an Ethiopian Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs delivered the formal Ethiopian proposal to the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ernest Bevin (1945-51).

Ethiopia, for an exchange of part of the Haud north and northeast of the Webi Shabelle, wanted Great Britain to grant it a 100-mile wide corridor connecting mainland Ethiopia to the to the sea aiming to annex Zeila as a major Red Sea outlet for the landlocked Abyssinian Kingdom.

George Hall, 1st Viscount Hall

A memorandum, jointly submitted to the British Cabinet on 6 August 1946, by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ernest Bevin, and the Secretary of State for the Colonies, George Henry Hall (1945-46), advised that the Ethiopian proposal be seriously considered to (a) keep Anglo-Ethiopian relations intact if not stronger; and (b) to return some grazing land to Somaliland clans which will lead to the realization of a ‘United Somalia’

“In the event, it will be remembered that his Majesty’s Government decide not to proceed with the United Somalia project at this stage, but considered that it should not be abandoned altogether…They (Ethiopians) have now come forward with the proposal that of a corridor to the sea, to the port of Zeila in British Somaliland, could be given to Ethiopia, they would, in return, be prepared to cede to British Somaliland part of the Ogaden in exchange,” the memorandum underlined.

The British, however, noted that the width of the corridor which the Ethiopians proposed was much wider than the need projected. In exchange for a narrower area, the British were prepared to accept a lesser area of the Ogaden than Ethiopia wished to offer.

It concluded that: (a) The Ethiopian offer should be followed up without delay, and (b) that negotiations should be opened on the thesis of a more limited exchange of territory, but that…negotiators be given some latitude to make adjustments in the light of Ethiopian reactions to our opening offer.

The two Secretaries, specifically, proposed that the Ethiopian Corridor be limited to the road leading from Ethiopia to Zeila, covering Essa land, on the one hand, and the land to be ceded to the British by Ethiopia be a trip of the Haud as opposed to the larger area which covered the Ogaden Reserve area, too.

Somalis were not in the equation. It was what the British wanted, and what the Ethiopians proposed and how the reactions of the French lording over French Somaliland (Djibouti) could be once an adjacent area to that of their responsibility was taken over by Ethiopia, replacing Britain as its neighbour.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, with a Somalia, history-dull leader in tow, is reviving the Abyssinian ambition.

Confidential reports have indicated that, in the guise of a proposed African Security taskforce whose mandate partly covers the Red Sea, asked President Farmajo of Somalia to give him Zeila. Abiy had a dual purpose: to effect a corridor to the sea which his predecessors could not bring through; and to build a strong naval base at Zeila ahead of the United Kingdom and Russia who had made similar intentions for the Somaliland port known.

Farmajo jumped at the idea, the reports indicate. He saw in the Abiy proposal a second and a third term in Somalia’s Villa Somalia office if the PM could – by guile, might or coercion bring Somaliland back to his fold in another, much worse, Somalia-dominated union.

And, of course, again, people who owned the land, Somalilanders, were not in the equation.

The day – as luck and the determination of a hardened people may have it – was saved by the Somaliland public who declared they would rather take up arms again en masse than be shepherded back to a union that had already wasted 60 years of their time. The situation encouraged the President, his government, political party leaders, and the Houses Speakers of the bicameral parliament to take a bold stand and reject the seemingly unprofessional, undiplomatic blitz machinations of the young Ethiopian PM and his friend at Villa Somalia.

Partly realizing its folly – or shelving its ambitions for another opportune moment – Addis Ababa hurried to mend fences with Hargeisa sending a key, well-respected Minister to touch base with President Bihi and his government reassuring them of a non-repetition of a miscalculated misstep.

Britain, according to the reports, also woke up to the ramifications of the Farmajo-Abiy (derisively called on the streets as Abiy-hii –his father) waltz, doing some behind-the-scenes pulling a number of strings.

If that is true, the UK still owes Somaliland. May 1897 was the first, major violation to the treaties with Somaliland. It gave Ethiopia to carve much of the Somali territory into its own.

There is no time like the present for Britain to tell the world that the giant has woken from its slumber. Somaliland can be the ringtone it is looking for.

At this stage, there is no time like the present, too, for the Republic of Somaliland to hammer political and diplomatic nails home due to the opportunities laying themselves bare for it to grab.

The time for a negotiated diplomatic recognition is here but it remains to be seen whether the incumbent government can take full advantage of.

 

In 1946, Ethiopia proposed to the British colonial office that it grant it access to the sea through Somaliland territory all the way to the port of Zeila.

Following up on earlier proposals on the same purpose which kept circulating to and from between the colonial office, the foreign office and the office of the Prime Minister in the ’30s, Ethiopia formulated a plan that merited a more serious consideration of the British.

Of course, and unbeknown to the local Somaliland clans, this was the second, under-handed violation to the tenets and spirit of the ‘Protectorate’ treaties the British entered with Somali clans which allowed them to set foot on Somaliland territory.

Secretary Ernest Bevin

June 13, 1946, an Ethiopian Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs delivered the formal Ethiopian proposal to the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ernest Bevin (1945-51).

Ethiopia, for an exchange of part of the Haud north and northeast of the Webi Shabelle, wanted Great Britain to grant it a 100-mile wide corridor connecting mainland Ethiopia to the to the sea aiming to annex Zeila as a major Red Sea outlet for the landlocked Abyssinian Kingdom.

George Hall, 1st Viscount Hall

A memorandum, jointly submitted to the British Cabinet on 6 August 1946, by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ernest Bevin, and the Secretary of State for the Colonies, George Henry Hall (1945-46), advised that the Ethiopian proposal be seriously considered to (a) keep Anglo-Ethiopian relations intact if not stronger; and (b) to return some grazing land to Somaliland clans which will lead to the realization of a ‘United Somalia’

“In the event, it will be remembered that his Majesty’s Government decide not to proceed with the United Somalia project at this stage, but considered that it should not be abandoned altogether…They (Ethiopians) have now come forward with the proposal that iof a corridor to the sea, to the port of Zeila in British Somaliland, could be given to Ethiopia, they would, in return, be prepared to cede to British Somaliland part of the Ogaden in exchange,” the memorandum underlined.

The British, however, noted that the width of the corridor which the Ethiopians proposed was much wider than the need projected. In exchange for a narrower area, the British were prepared to accept a lesser area of the Ogaden than Ethiopia wished to offer.

It concluded that: (a) The Ethiopian offer should be followed up without delay, and (b) that negotiations should be opened on the thesis of a more limited exchange of territory, but that…negotiators be given some latitude to make adjustments in the light of Ethiopian reactions to our opening offer.

The two Secretaries, specifically, proposed that the Ethiopian Corridor be limited to the road leading from Ethiopia to Zeila, covering Essa land, on the one hand, and the land to be ceded to the British by Ethiopia be a trip of the Haud as opposed to the larger area which covered the Ogaden Reserve area, too.

Somalis were not in the equation. It was what the British wanted, and what the Ethiopians proposed and how the reactions of the French lording over French Somaliland (Djibouti) could be once an adjacent area to that of their responsibility was taken over by Ethiopia, replacing Britain as its neighbour.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, with a Somalia, history-dull leader in tow, is reviving the Abyssinian ambition.

Confidential reports have indicated that, in the guise of a proposed African Security taskforce whose mandate partly covers the Red Sea, asked President Farmajo of Somalia to give him Zeila. Abiy had a dual purpose: to effect a corridor to the sea which his predecessors could not bring through; and to build a strong naval base at Zeila ahead of the United Kingdom and Russia who had made similar intentions for the Somaliland port known.

Farmajo jumped at the idea, the reports indicate. He saw in the Abiy proposal a second and a third term in Somalia’s Villa Somalia office if the PM could – by guile, might or coercion bring Somaliland back to his fold in another, much worse, Somalia-dominated union.

And, of course, again, people who owned the land, Somalilanders, were not in the equation.

The day – as luck and the determination of a hardened people may have it – was saved by the Somaliland public who declared they would rather take up arms again en masse than be shepherded back to a union that had already wasted 60 years of their time. The situation encouraged the President, his government, political party leaders, and the Houses Speakers of the bicameral parliament to take a bold stand and reject the seemingly unprofessional, undiplomatic blitz machinations of the young Ethiopian PM and his friend at Villa Somalia.

Partly realizing its folly – or shelving its ambitions for another opportune moment – Addis Ababa hurried to mend fences with Hargeisa sending a key, well-respected Minister to touch base with President Bihi and his government reassuring them of a non-repetition of a miscalculated misstep.

Britain, according to the reports, also woke up to the ramifications of the Farmajo-Abiy (derisively called on the streets as Abiy-hii –his father) waltz, doing some behind-the-scenes pulling a number of strings.

If that is true, the UK still owes Somaliland. May 1897 was the first, major violation to the treaties with Somaliland. It gave Ethiopia to carve much of the Somali territory into its own.

There is no time like the present for Britain to tell the world that the giant has woken from its slumber. Somaliland can be the ringtone it is looking for.

At this stage, there is no time like the present, too, for the Republic of Somaliland to hammer political and diplomatic nails home due to the opportunities laying themselves bare for it to grab.

The time for a negotiated diplomatic recognition is here but it remains to be seen whether the incumbent government can take full advantage of.

 

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galbeedi   

 

 

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed recently said on state TV: "We built one of the strongest ground and air force in Africa... we should build our naval force capacity in the future."

Guys our country could be dismantled while we are quarreling about which village belongs to which tribe. 

This whole week I have been asking what are both Farmaajo and Biixi were hiding. 

War jiraaba cakaaru iman. 

No wonder, Somaliland  never allowed anything meaning to be built in the Awdal coast, yet suddenly both Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia had agreed to built a road between Djibouti (Zaylac) to Borama and Jigjiga. 

Waar miyaa lala gatay?

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galbeedi,

The British were doing housekeeping work of their empire.
The plan was to create one big Somalia except Djibouti and parts of Kililka and Somaliland all close and bordering to Djibouti.
Both Ethiopia and crippled France had no objection as long as French and Ethiopian territories are contigeous and France has no border with future Somalia.

Ethiopia wanted everything including Djibouti, but Ethiopia wanted Eritrea more than any other.

Ethiopia herself conducts foreign relations only by and through Britain, since Ethiopia was British liberated enemy territory, It was British, SouthAfrican, Somalilanders and Sudanese (British forces that liberated it and Eritrea)

The British representative (governor) advised Ethiopians to go for part Somaliland, since the British had determined to split Eritrea between Sudan which is theirs and Ethiopia.

Foreign office had determined already if Ethiopia withdraws its claim on Eritrea (Ethiopia is working with Americans on this, but the British found out and gave them bad look.


At the end.

The one Somalia project failed (by Somalis)
Ethiopia insisted with its claim on Eritrea regardless of East
Ethiopia was told cannot claim Djibouti since it was 99 year agreement
Ethiopia's agreement with Italy on Eritrea had no time limitation, the condition was that whever Italy has no use for Eritrea to return it to Ethiopia. US had opposed wanting independent Eritrea, but Ethiopia promised and gave US what it needed, a communications base.

The British had no money or power to implement any of their wishes, and then they run out of time and gave everything to UN and left.


Some Ethiopians wanted Ceylac more than Eritrea, since historically Ceylac is oldest port and most used and most famous even in Xabeshi country and Europe.

But that is how history is made by seemingly interconnected, disconnected incidents.


Ethiopia is without port.
No one Somalia
Kililka and NFD still remain where they were in 1940s
Djibouti became independent country since Ethiopia had Mengistu and Somalia hade late Barre, both dictators, but useless on long term startegic issues and both killed their countries.




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galbeedi   

OO,

Tell us. Do you think Abiy wants Zaylac or Assab this time?

How can he take a Somali territory at this stage?

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Che,

The worst thing is we are debating on trial balloon.

Ethiopia has no money. Let alone thousands of years old Ceylac, Ethiopia has no money to even do small upgrades to Berbera, Assab, Kismayu, Mugadishu....ports that have sme structure already.

Djibouti has the most modern ports in Africa. Any Ethiopian with working head should just stick to it and develop additional facilities like railroad to rest of Ethiopia.

Everything else about Eritrea, pipeline..etc is all face book propaganda and trial balloon.

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Unless Cheeseman sold you out right, there is nothing to fear from Hargeisa. 

Somaliland and Ethiopia have a demarcated border. They will not trespas. 

However, Somalia and Ethiopia have no formally defined border.

Quote

Accordingly, the boundary between Ethiopia and what became British Somaliland was agreed upon in 1897 and marked on the ground by a joint commission in 1932-1934. To that end, concrete posts were installed to mark the boundary line. The boundary separated some Somali tribes from either side of the border. However, an agreement annexed to the Treaty provided freedom to cross the border for grazing purposes

Quote

Ethiopia and Italy negotiated the boundary line between Ethiopia and what had become Italian Somaliland. They agreed upon a boundary and marked it on two maps, but did not put the agreement in writing. The maps disappeared and have never been found. Italy claimed that the agreed boundary lay about 180 miles inland parallel to the Indian Ocean coast. Ethiopia claimed that the boundary was much nearer to the coast.  

The current border between Somalia (Italian Somalia) and Ethiopia is a Provisional Administrative Line agreed between British Administration and Ethiopians in 1950.  This border can be changed at any time. 

https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?&httpsredir=1&article=1123&context=africancenter_icad_archive

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galbeedi,

This is a waste of time trial balloon fake news to see if Djibouti and Berbera cry, the once who have to loose the most.

Ceylac needs maybe 25-30 billion to make it fit for modern ships and containers, just port and town then Ethiopia needs 5-7 billion dollars for othe other facilities roads, railroads, dry ports..etc

What would you do if you were Ethiopian leader?

Djibouti almost zero new investment
Berbera 400 million at the most which is for the most part roads maybe one year of dedicated work
Assab at least 20 billion for port roads done in stages and 5 years

Ceylac well 30 billion should give you good statrt.

Djibouti will still have more facilities since it has 3 functioning ports, road, rsailroad...already even after investing all that money on others.

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Oodweyne   

This is partly true story and partly false story. The part that is false is the one that is alleging that Ethiopia wants to build itself Saylac as a hub of commercial trading center, when they already could do that easily in Djibouti and in Berberra. And as Old_Observer already said it, Ethiopia do not have money and the luxury to go on to a wild chase of this sort.

However, the part that is true is that some powerful westerns countries and others wants to take out an "insurance policy" in the form of Seylac being "transformed" as a military and naval base for a "consortium of nations" (few Arab nations and few Europeans ones as well) who wants to put their naval forces together and build a military naval base there in-order to guard the Red-Sea from whatever "expansionist agenda" in which the Chinese may have in mind for the Red-Sea, since she is already there in force of a naval kind in Djibouti.

So it's a "Geo-strategical move" but not a commercial one. And of course, Ethiopia will be crucial linchpin in that sort of stability of the Red-Sea, provided she is "squares" her agenda, in a upfront manner, both with Djibouti and with Somaliland.  

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