Currently, everyone in D.C. is once again busy pretending that the only reason that there’s violence in the region is Israel.
Except that Iran and Pakistan are shelling each other’s territory, the Taliban and Iran are back to threatening each other, and here’s a potential military conflict you didn’t see coming.
Egypt will not allow any threat to Somalia, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Sunday after Ethiopia said it would consider recognising an independence claim by Somaliland in a deal that would give it access to a sea port.
The remarks were the strongest yet made on the issue by Egypt, which already has frosty relations with Ethiopia, and were a sign that Cairo may get involved in a dispute that has raised fresh tensions in the volatile Horn of Africa.
Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 but has not won recognition from any country. The port lease deal, which was agreed earlier this month but not yet finalised, would be a boon to landlocked Ethiopia and has enraged Somalia.
“Egypt will not allow anyone to threaten Somalia or affect its security,” Sisi said, speaking at a news conference with visiting Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
“Do not try Egypt, or try to threaten its brothers especially if they ask it to intervene,” he added.
In a Jan. 1 memorandum of understanding, Ethiopia said it would consider recognising Somaliland’s independence in return for the port access. It would lease 20 km (12 miles) of coastland around the port of Berbera, on the Gulf of Aden, for 50 years for military and commercial purposes.
If you’re wondering what Somaliland is, it’s the better version of Somalia. (It’s also the one that Rep. Ilhan Omar hates.) The short version is that what we call Somalia is (like most African and Muslim countries) made up of different clans. Somaliland was temporarily part of the same country with Somalia, and then went its own way and has been independent for quite a while.
Despite that hardly anyone recognizes it except the UK, China and, sorta, Israel. Our own relations with Somaliland improved somewhat, but Somali political figures like Rep. Ilhan Omar have been swinging things back to the way they were before.
Somalia is quite anti-Somaliland and Egypt is already hostile to Ethiopia. Considering the current situation in Eritrea, well let’s just say there could be more conflict in the region.