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The strategic relationship between Somaliland and Ethiopia has completed eliminated the wars, the conflicts, the enmity, hostilities and mistrust created by former Somali regimes in horn of Africa between 1960 to 1990

The article defines the strategic relationship between the brotherly countries Somaliland and Ethiopia that changed the former political landscape in horn of Africa which was based on enmity and mistrust in horn of Africa created by former Somali regimes in horn of Africa between 1960 to 1991 as presently wind of change and hope is blowing in the horn of Africa.  As from 1991, no more wars, no more conflicts, no more bloodshed, no more hostilities and no more hatred between the people in of Africa. Beginning from 1991, Horn of Africa is experiencing period of cooperation, peace, economy integration and close relation born in horn of Africa in 1991.  This is when Somaliland has reclaimed its lost independence. Somaliland and Ethiopia has relationship that existed way back to centuries. The geographical and socio-economic proximity makes Somaliland the largest trade client, with Ethiopia gaining above 800 million dollars yearly in trade from Somaliland which mean Somaliland is the biggest trading partner with Ethiopia as Somaliland imports Ethiopia products estimated above 800 million dollars.

  Geographically, Somaliland is country in of the Horn of Africa that located strategic geopolitical landscape.  Somaliland president Muse Bihi Abdi last offical visit  to ethopia  has deepened the political, economic, trade, security and deep rooted foundation which are based mutual trust and consolidating the regional security. There are myriad factors that promote close relationship between two countries. The two countries have shared vision with regard most issues on horn of Africa. Such a partnership is significant for peaceful and stable development of the region and the world at large.  Somaliland is emerged as key political player in Horn of Africa and the country’s location strategic location is vital for the GCC as Somaliland form part of the Red Sea and Bab Al-Mandeb Strait, one of the world’s busiest maritime route also used to transport oil from Middle Eastern producers. Maintaining friendly cooperative relations with Ethiopia is the basis of Somaliland foreign policy.


With regards geostrategic perspective, Ethiopia’s interest in Berbera is obvious. Ethiopia is pleased the idea of Berbera Port becoming a key strategic outlet.  Ethiopia’s interest lies in ensuring a peaceful and independent Somaliland with a fully-functioning and responsible country.  Ethiopia shares with Somaliland a long border extending over hundreds of kilometers that remains secure in view the cooperation for the two countries in security matters.  Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest growing airline has many daily flights to somaliland capital city Hargeisa `using its Q400 aircraft.  Somaliland port city, Berbera was part of a chain of commercial port cities along the Somaliland seaboard.  Somaliland strategic importance was known for centuries being the bridge that connects Africa, the Middle East and Asia. There is a window of opportunity for Ethiopia and Somaliland to develop a closer and more fruitful relationship, particularly with respect to trade and investment. .Berbera which is commercial city of somaliland is the closest sea port to Ethiopia.


The  port  offers specail arrangment with ethopia  export and import trade to oustide world being land locked country. Berbera corridor which is 250 KM highway that links Somaliland with land locked Ethiopia will turn Somaliland into “major regional trading hub.  This road network is a valuable infrastructural asset of a country.  The connectivity of road infrastructure improves business prospects in horn of Africa.  Speaking during the launch ceremony, Somaliland’s President Muse Bihi Abdi said the road will provide access for landlocked Ethiopia to an additional seaport and significantly boost trade between the two countries. It is estimated Somaliland imports to Ethiopia is worth over US $800m annually. The expansion of the port of Berbera fundamentally supports Ethiopia regional policy that support its aspirations for regional hegemony. Ethiopia has eyed the development of and access to the port of Berbera.  


The triplicate agreement signed by three countrirres Somaliland, Ethiopia and UAE with regard DP world investment in Somaliland port of Berbera has generated three combined common interest.  The port which is under expansion by global continer, DP world will double its capacity once complted which is due by the last quarter of 2020.   Somaliland’s role in the region is changing as key players in the Gulf are waking up to its strategic location. The relationship between Somaliland and Ethiopia regarding people to people relationship and the free movement of people and trade as well as the security aspects that serves the interst of the two people and the two countries.  Open borders policy was created as a result of people to people interactions and communications, and that facilitated the free movements of people and trade. Somaliland and Ethiopia relationship is based strategic interest.  The special relationship between and Ethiopia relationship has completed eliminated the mistrust and enmity created by Somali former regimes between 1960 – 1990 that divided the people in horn of Africa, caused human disaster and total destruction in horn of Africa.

Presently, the two people are two in one as nation’s friendship is one of the greatest gifts a human being can receive.  There are many potential factors that links Somaliland and Ethiopia which is boundless. The world political players have intensified bringing increased geopolitical competition.  Somaliland has the advantage of becoming an important international sea and air traffic hub in of Africa.  Somaliland has strategic Importance for three continents Africa, Asia and Europe. Berbera port located adjacent to this important shipping lane. The rise of maritime global trade made Somaliland Berbera as regional shipping hub in horn of Africa. The geographic location of Somaliland has both uncontested commercial and defence strategies. Strategically Somaliland is located close to the Gulf region, major source of world energy. In view of peace, security, stability and democracy, presently, the international community have labelled Somaliland as Iceland of peace and new model of African democracy. Somaliland democracy has gained global appreciation. This is why international political players showing interest establishing close ties with Somaliland.


Somaliland and Ethiopia are economically integrated as economy integration is very important between nations. Economy integration reduces the unnecessary expenses that carry extra burden for the trade between nations. Nowadays, more and more countries are economically integrated.  Somaliland and   Ethiopia are example for Economy integration.


Ismail Lugweyne