Nothing to Deny Somaliland to Rejoin the World as a Sovereign State: Matthew Bryden

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Ethiopia’s recent decision to re-recognize Somaliland has been the subject of significant interest and debate within the international community.

In an interview with Ethiopia State Television, Matthew Bryden, co-founder and strategic advisor at SAHAN Research, offered his insights on the matter.

Bryden highlighted that Somaliland fulfils all the criteria for statehood recognition as outlined in the Montevideo Convention of 1933, a crucial document in international law that outlines the requirements for statehood. These requirements include a permanent population, a functioning government, a defined territory, and the ability to engage in relations with other states.

According to Bryden, Somaliland meets the traditional criteria for statehood recognition, despite some internal challenges. He emphasized that Somaliland’s case for re-recognition is based on facts and adherence to international law. Bryden also pointed out that Somalia’s efforts to distort the truth with propaganda and false information are no longer effective in light of Somaliland’s strong arguments.

Bryden stressed that Ethiopia’s re-recognition of Somaliland is not only legal but also legitimate, framing it as an exercise of Ethiopia’s sovereign prerogative. He noted that the MoU signed between Ethiopia and Somaliland does not violate international law or Somalia’s sovereignty. It is simply Ethiopia exercising its full sovereign right to diplomacy.

In addition, Bryden argued that Ethiopia’s actions align with international standards. He noted that states like South Sudan and Eritrea were recognized under similar circumstances. Despite Somalia’s instability, Somaliland has maintained relative stability and governance for three decades, providing a strong basis for its recognition.

Recognizing Somaliland could potentially alter the regional power dynamics, with landlocked Ethiopia gaining a strategic foothold in the region and Somalia losing a significant portion of its recognized territory. Bryden characterized Somalia as a failed state and Somaliland as a stable and democratic nation that has met all the criteria for international recognition.

Unpacking The Impact Somaliland-Ethiopia Deal And Washington's Red Sea Strategy
Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed attend the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding agreement, that allows Ethiopia to use a Somaliland port, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 1, 2024. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

The agreement, inked on January 1, 2024, holds strategic significance for both parties, particularly in terms of access to the Red Sea through Berbera Port and the establishment of a potential military base. These developments could potentially alter the regional balance of power and influence.

In conclusion, Matthew Bryden’s insights highlight the legality and legitimacy of Ethiopia’s decision to re-recognize Somaliland. Somaliland’s adherence to international law and the traditional criteria for statehood recognition, coupled with its relative stability and governance, provide a strong basis for its recognition. The agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland holds strategic significance for both parties and could potentially alter the regional power dynamics.

The re-recognition of Somaliland by Ethiopia has broader implications beyond the two nations involved. It could trigger responses from neighboring countries and international stakeholders, reshaping alliances and partnerships in the region. Access to Berbera Port and the establishment of a military presence could introduce new dynamics in regional security and trade, influencing the broader geopolitical landscape of the Horn of Africa.

Ethiopia State Televsiion
as printed by saxafi media