Africa-Press – Ethiopia. Ethiopia and Somalia need to have a common stand in regional security issues and strengthen cooperation, Somalia’s Institute for Federalism and Security Analysis (IFSA) Chairperson said.
The chairperson, Professor Sonkor Geyre, told Ethiopian News Agency that he hopes the current visit of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to Ethiopia will open a new chapter in the relationship between the two East African nations.
Recall that during the course of the visit, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud held bilateral discussions, accompanied by high level officials from the countries.
They discussed various issues of mutual and regional concerns, ranging from collaboration in overcoming threats of terrorism and extremism to bilateral economic cooperation.
Professor Geyre said the visit of President Hassan was historic due to the difficult time that the whole region is going through.
“At this moment, the two leaders are each having difficulties at home. We are very glad that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud visited Ethiopia. We are expecting a very positive result from this visit. Definitely, there is no way that they fail (in building) regional security cooperation.”
Ethiopia has a problem in the northern part of Ethiopia while Somalia is fighting with Al Shabab and other problems, he pointed out.
Therefore, the professor urged the countries to have a common stand in regional security and strengthen cooperation at this time.
“The two states, Ethiopia and Somalia, need to have a common stand in the regional security issue before we talk about regional economic cooperation,” he noted.
According to him, the two countries need to first of all have diplomatic security grant for sustainable and strong cooperation.
He recalled the previous government of Somalia led by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government established a very smooth relationship between the countries.
Somalia’s current President Mohamud can expand the relationship without compromising the existing ties with Ethiopia, the professor stated.
“Let me remind you of my view. Somalia and Ethiopia have a bilateral agreement in terms of economic and security. And the relationship between Somalia and Ethiopia for the last five years was very smooth. This existing building block should increase, not decrease.”
Professor Geyre strongly believes that the security cooperation should be expanded at a regional level in the Horn of Africa with tangible moves.
“I was one of the advocates of the need for a regional security program… I mean that Ethiopia’s security program can never succeed without it being an included in regional security at the Horn of Africa. Somalia’s as well.”
The whole seven East African countries do not have any other option other than building a regional peaceful Horn of Africa state, he pointed out.
Geyre underlined that any policy undermining the cooperation efforts of the Horn African region has to be revisited.