PM Abiy Playing UAE’s Proxy War Against HOA And Red Sea Nations Since 1990s – OpEd


Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed backed the Ethiopia-Somaliland Controversial MOU Port Lease & Recognition, knowing full-well that Somaliland is a region and part and parcel of sovergn and independent Somalia. He intentionally heralded the Horn of Africa (HoA) region into a political, security, economic and out-rights war between Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritrea, and even outside Regional actors i.e. Egypt, UAE and NATO (US & UK).

“On November 26, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed denied reports that his government was planning to wage war to gain access to a seaport. It was his second attempt in as many weeks at reassuring neighboring states in the Horn of Africa that his pursuit of a new import gateway for Ethiopia would stay peaceful.”(1)

The MOU (signed between Abiyi Ahmed who is facing 7 internal wars against Amhara, Tigrey, Oromo, Somali and Afar regions of Ethiopia, as well regional wars the Benishangul war, the rift with Eritrea and now with Somalia, the Al- Fashaqa Border conflict with Sudan, and the unsettled dispute with Egypt over the GERD and the Blue Nile waters on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

This MOU is between two political losers (PM Abiy, Ahmed of Ethiopia, and Muse Bixi of Somaliland), who both have failed miserably in their own record of administration and Governance of their respective administration.

For Abiy and pockets …Ethiopia has just defaulted unable to pay $6 million borrowed from private banks. While Somaliland Governor Muse Bihi’s term has expired in 2022, waged a clan-war(s) against four sub-sub-clans of Somaliland (Awdal, NorthWest, Togdheer, Sool & Sanaag) with more than 5000 deaths, 189k internally displaced peoples and across the neighboring (Djibouti +Ethiopia, ) borders since 2022-3 Clan war against HART peoples of SOOL & SANAAG regions of Somaliland (NW Somalia).

Is Abiy’s Quest for Port Access Legitimate Or Another Proxy War for UAE Project?

Ethiopia is a land-locked country since Eritrea independence in 1991.Since then, Ethiopia’s main corridor has been Djibouti, where 95% of the goods exported & imported to Ethiopia passes through Djibouti Terminal. It has been the main corridor for Government, commercial and humanitarian cargo to Ethiopia.

Ethiopia-Djibouti share ownership of the only railway from Djibouti port to Addis Abab which has been the main life-line connecting the Djibouti Port to the capital city of Addis Abab, carrying both freight and passengers.

Ethiopia currently uses Berbera Port with which it bought 19 per cent stake, with the Berbera Port Authority of Somaliland, while SL is retaining 30 per cent and with UAE’ DP World retains the 51 per cent of the B. Port Authority (BPA) shares.

A commercial agreement with Somaliland, DP World and Ethiopia since 2019

Ethiopia has a commercial agreement with Djibouti for the access of Djibouti Port Facilities and Cargo+ Passenger Railways since 1970’s.

“Since Eritrea’s independence, Ethiopia’s primary trade conduit has been the Red Sea port of Djibouti, but that hasn’t come cheap. Djibouti charges Ethiopia over a billion dollars annually in port fees, a huge sum for a country where nearly a fifth of the population of 119 million is still dependent on food aid.

For years, the government has been contemplating diversification in Kenya, Somalia, and Sudan; Ethiopian officials visited Kenya’s Lamu port for discussions in August.”(3)

Ethiopia has commercial agreements with Both Kenya, and Sudan for the use of Lamu and Port Sudan port facilities of Kenya & Sudan respectively.

There is no issue of not accessibility to sea issue with Ethiopia currently, but a deeper, and profound Geostrategic and political proxy plans by United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 1990’s: that’s the Control and Security of All Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Ports by UAE.

What is the status of Somaliland?

Somaliland was and still is a region in Northwestern (6 regions) part of Somalia which also includes 4 non-ISAAQ regions of SOOL, SANAAQ, and AWDAL regions in 1960.

In 1991 the remnants of Somali National Movements (SNM) and clan oligarchies have declared independent country with all pseudo- trappings of Government , security and parliament. But, by 2009 and it has gone internal civil wars, inter- clan violence, Autocracy, massive corruptions, Lack of Government services, including, health, social services, security & judicial institutions. This created the On-going clan –wars between Hargeisa and NON_ISAAQ regions, with full civil war and ethnic-cleansing between Muse Bihi and Non –Isaaq forces who r determined to Re-join Somalia with their blood .

Somaliland, like the rest of Somalia’s federal states has had Federal Members(FMP) (60 out 254) in Somalia’s Federal Govt. in Mogadishu, since 2000 Arte conference. Since August, 2023, two Non-Isaaq ( KHATUMA & AWDAL state of Somalia) regions have been returned /recognized into the Federal system of Somalia which forfeits & Delegitimize Abiyi’s & Musse Bihi’s MOU since the so-called “Sea access and land parcel is in Somali State of AWDAL. The MOU is against Somali independence, sovereignty, & territorial integrity per UN/AU/IGAD/LOA charters which Somalia is member. It’s a direct assault to its independence, security, unity of its Nation State, and outright “declarations of war” by Ethiopia; this is a recipe for proxy wars, state fragmentatio0n and Autocracy in the Horn of Africa (HOA) region.

Abiy’s End-Game on Red Sea and the Greater Horn region (HOA)

In 2018, when Prime minister Abiy, Ahmed, there was great hope for peace, prosperity and development in the region. There was a Trilateral peace agreements(s) was signed between the Two presidents of Eritrea and Somalia ; President Issyas AFWERKI,of Eretria and President Abdullahi Mohamed FARMAJO of Somalia in Asmara, Eritrea.(4)

The Tripartite Agreement, formally titled the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Cooperation Between Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea, states that given their “close ties of geography, history, culture and religion as well as vital common interests” and “respecting each other’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial …

It was followed By further ministerial and high-level meetings in The second tripartite meeting was planned for November 2018, with the three national leaders meeting in Gondar and Bahir Dar in Amhara Region.[5]

On 27 January 2020, Abiy, Issyas and Farmaajo held a tripartite meeting in Asmara. They adopted a Joint Plan of Action for 2020 focussing on “peace, stability, security, and economic and social development” and including a “security” component to “combat and neutralise … terrorism, arms and human trafficking and drugs smuggling”.[6 ]. Martin Plaut, a British journalist specialising in Africa, commented on the lack of a press conference following the meeting, And on the the 27 January Tripartite meeting, together with bilateral meetings by Abiy to an Eritrean military base in July 2020, Farmaajo to Asmara on 4 October 2020, and Isaias to the Harar Meda Airport air base in Bishoftu on 14–15 October 2020 were used by the three leaders to discuss and prepare strategy for the Tigray War.[7 ].

But, Abiy had a semester strategic plan of his own. An Orwellian Agenda of Kush/Oromumia based ideology of Oromo Supremacy & domination of all other non-Oromo ethnics of Ethiopia.(8) funded supported and encouraged by United Arab Emirates(UAE).

Abiy’s Grand strategy is, in order to rule populace Ethiopia with its 120 million population and 80 different ethnic groups he needs to keep the country in permanent wars both internally and externally against neighboring countries, so as to weaken Any opposition forming or uniting against his Un-democratic and Dictatorial rule.

Secondly, He is playing High stakes for his Arab patron/Proxy Master – The United Arab Emirates’(UAE) who has founded his Tigrey and Fano Amhara Wars and personally Gouged him in to the Somaliland – Red Sea / Gulf of Aden Port. Thus, Abiy, Ahmed is killing two birds with one stone.

UAE Role in the Horn

The UAE has been actively undermining all countries in the HOA region since 2000. From Djibouti, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, Somalia and ALL Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean Basin sea ports to be mouth-balled and taken over by its DP world masquerading as an Honest Investor rather than a hostile agent of destabilization and Deceit.

Examples abound from Djibouti, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and even with Eritrea.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been gradually underwritten Abiy Ahmed’s rule since he came to power in 2018. It has personally financed Abiyi vast new palace, a vanity project outside of the capital at the tone of over $10 billion price tag. It has financed supported and armed his military campaigns against initially the war against TPLF in Tigrey with both money and material. And latter on, his wars with Fano Amhara, and The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

With UAE’s political, diplomatic, financial and military support Ethiopia Goes Rogue and a Proxy of UAE in the region. The Abiy-Muse Bihi MOU is a by-product of this Emirati (Geopolitical Agenda) Proxy war on Somalia and the rest of Greater Horn region. “This illegal action between two political desperados facing similar bleak political future. Each is desperate need for a quick fix like a drug addict , that could change his political fate. Abiy became more belligerent last year when he asserted his country was exploring all options to secure a port by way of diplomatic negotiation or by military means. And Muse Bihi knows that power continues to slip out of his hands since August 2023 Defeat in GOOJACADE by SSC-Khatuuma state of Somalia, and unless he succeeds in securing a fake phony Pseudo-Recognition for Somaliland he has no chance of remaining in power whatsoever” (9).

Strategic Importance of Red Sea & Gulf of Aden

The strategic importance of Red Sea and Gulf of Aden has grown extensively since 1990’s as a result of economic, military and technological developments, specially to the Red Sea Basin /Littoral countries of Egypt, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

The Red Sea is increasingly the most profitable, and shortest transit-route for oil, and cargo commercial container shipping passes from the narrow straits of Bab-el-Mandep all the way tto the Mediterranean sea via the Suez Canal.

“The entire Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coastline, from Suez canal to northern Somalia in the south has emrged as a geostrategic hotspot over the past decades. Major global and regional players sought to establish bases in the region. And countries as diverse as the US, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Japan, France, Israel and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have systematically expanded their military footprints”. (10)

Conclusions & Recommendations for Somali Government.

Somali President, Government and its people should express their extreme and utter anger, opposition to, abhorrence and affront against Abiy’s illegal, and aggressive land-grab and war on our independence, integrity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Federal Government should engage constructive conversations and diplomatic efforts with Awdal State, Hargeisa, Berbera and Khatuuma state of Somalia residents and elders, leaders to address their concerns and creat unity and cooperation among the peoples of the north of Somalia urgently.

  1. It should sever all Diplomatic, economic, political and Bilateral relations with Both 1) Ethiopia and 2) UAE effective Immediately.
  2. The Fderal Govt. Should Expell Both Ambassadors from the countery and recall both Somali enovoys from Addis Ababa & Abu Dhabai respectively, Effecive immediately.
  3. The Federal Governemnt should ABONDON its strategy to enticing specific individuals and convince that its poor policy of pacification while dominating two cities has harmfull repercussions for Somalia.
  4. The Federal Govct should Cancell /Prevent Ethiopian Airlines and Emirates from Somalia and Somali Air Riights. Effective Immediately.
  5. Send Somali /Eritrean Troops+Security Forces in AWDAL & Khatuma States of Somalia effective immediately.
  6. Cancel UAE – SOMALIA Military, Econ omic and Technical support ASAP
  7. The Fedral Governement should SIGN a MILITARY PACT with TURKEY (50 yrs) Effective Immediately.
  8. The federal Government should also sign a SECUIRTY AGREEMENT and PACT with ERITREA and invite its forces in AWDAL, Hargeisa and BERBER
  9. Effective immediately.


  1. Is Landlocked Ethiopia Starting Another War Over Ports in HoA?November 7, 2023TesfaNews(2023). ( starting-another-war-over-ports-eritrea/)Accessed, January 6, 2024)
  2. Ethiopia oo 60-maalmood ciidan ku gayn rabta Lughaya & Hassan Sheikh oo Dhuuntay!!By.Hussein Jama(2024). (Accessed, January 14, 2024)
  3. Is Landlocked Ethiopia Starting Another War Over Ports in HoA? November 7, 2023TesfaNews. starting-another-war-over-ports-eritrea/(Accessed, Jan7, 2024)
  4. (A,B,C)Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Cooperation Between Ethiopia, Somalia and Eriteria(2018) (Accessed, January 7th, 2024)
  5. Ibid
  6. IbId
  7. Ibid
  8. Asafa Jalata (2007)The Concept of Oromummaa and Identity FormationinThe Concept of Oromummaa and Identity Formation in “Contemporary Oromo SocietyContemporary Oromo Society, University of Tennessee – Knoxville,USA.( 09&context=utk_socopubs Accessed, Jan11th, 2024)
  9. Abukar Arman (2024)Geopolitics Of Ethiopia’s Red Sea Seaport Fiasco – OpEdJanuary 10, 2024. geopolitics-of-ethiopias-red-sea-seaport-fiasco-oped/ (Accessed, Jan.7th, 2024)
  10. Sankalp Gurjar(2024). Ethiopia – Somaliland Port Deal and Geopolitics of Western Indian Ocean. ( somaliland-port-deal-and-geopolitics-of-western-indian-ocean- analysis/#google_vignette(Accessed, 9, 2024)

Dr. Bischara Ali Egal

Dr. Bischara Ali Egal is a Canadian Medical Doctor, Psychiatrist, Mental Health Clinician, Clinical Psychologist, International Affairs researcher Geo-strategist specializing in: HOA Africa-Eurasia and US/NATO affairs, IRAN, India, China, Russia & Turkish FPs towards the Horn of Africa region, specially Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia.

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