Connect with us

World

Somalia will defend itself if Ethiopia seals ‘illegal’ port deal, president says

Somalia will defend itself if Ethiopia seals ‘illegal’ port deal, president says

Published

on

Somalia will defend itself if Ethiopia seals 'illegal' port deal, president says

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said his country would “defend itself” if Ethiopia goes ahead with a deal to set up a naval base in the breakaway region of Somaliland and possibly recognise the territory as an independent state.

Landlocked Ethiopia agreed a memorandum of understanding on Jan 1 to lease 20 km (12 miles) of coastline in Somaliland – a territory that Somalia says it owns, even though the northern region has enjoyed effective autonomy since 1991.

Ethiopia said it wants to set up a naval base there and offered possible recognition of Somaliland in exchange – prompting a defiant response from Somalia and fears the deal could further destabilise the Horn of Africa.

“If Ethiopia insists, Somalia will resist and will refuse,” Mohamud told Reuters on Tuesday in an interview at the heavily fortified presidential palace in Mogadishu.

Advertisement

“If they come into the country, Somalia will do everything that it can to defend itself.”

He did not go into further detail on what action Somalia might take. The Horn of Africa has experienced repeated conflicts, feeding humanitarian crises in areas prone to drought. Neighbouring Ethiopia and Somalia fought over territory in 1977-1978 and 1982.

Mohamud said he would only agree to discuss the matter with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed when the government in Addis Ababa renounces its intention “to take part of our country”.

Ethiopia’s government spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. Abiy has previously said Ethiopia has no plans to start a conflict with Somalia and is merely trying to address its need for sea access.

MILITANT THREAT

Mohamud said he was not considering kicking out the nearly 3,000 Ethiopian soldiers stationed in Somalia as part of an African Union peacekeeping mission fighting militants from al Shabaab, an al Qaeda affiliate.

Advertisement

Analysts and diplomats fear a withdrawal of Ethiopian troops would further destabilise Somalia, where al Shabaab attacks have killed thousands of civilians and soldiers since 2006.

Somalia and several Western countries, including the United States, which regularly carries out strikes against militants in Somalia, have said Ethiopia’s port deal has boosted al Shabaab’s recruitment efforts.

Ethiopian troops invaded Somalia in late 2006 to oust an Islamist movement from which al Shabaab originated.

Mohamud said his government’s estimates showed al Shabaab had recruited between 6,000 and 8,000 new fighters in January alone.

Analysts and diplomats interviewed by Reuters were sceptical of that number, estimating the number of new recruits in the hundreds.

Advertisement

World

Ukraine sharply boosts delivery of drones to armed forces

Ukraine sharply boosts delivery of drones to armed forces

Published

on

By

Ukraine sharply boosts delivery of drones to armed forces

Ukraine has delivered three times more drones to its armed forces so far this year than in the whole of 2023, a top commander said, as Ukrainian forces accelerate the use of unmanned craft in the war against Russia.

“This process continues and will only grow,” said Colonel Vadym Sukharevskyi, the commander of Ukraine’s drone forces.

Ukraine, which has been fighting off a full-scale Russian invasion for nearly 26 months, is seeking to ramp up its domestic arms manufacturing and use of innovative technologies to compete against its much larger and wealthier enemy.

He was speaking at an exhibition on Saturday showcasing Ukrainian-made unmanned vehicles for land, sea and air, electronic warfare systems and armoured vehicles.

Advertisement

Ninety-nine percent of drones used by the Ukrainian military are produced domestically, Sukharevskyi said.

“It’s no secret that our resource limitations in artillery are compensated by drones, such as FPVs (first-person view) and (bomber) drop drones,” he told reporters, referencing an imbalance of artillery firepower between Ukraine and Russia which analysts put at six to one in Russia’s favour.

As the Ukrainian military is outgunned and outmanned on the battlefield, Moscow’s forces have been increasing pressure along the entire frontline and making gradual gains.

The increased use of drones by both sides has been shifting the conflict away from the battlefield to strikes on each other’s military, energy and transport infrastructure.

Ukrainian Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), used to hit targets inside Russia in recent months, can now hit targets more than 1,200 km (750 miles) away, Sukharevskyi said.

Advertisement

Tesla will lay off more than 10% of its workforce.

Oleksandr Kamyshin, Ukraine’s Minister of Strategic Industries, said Ukrainian weapons manufacturers had fuelled both military and economic progress in the country.

Ukraine’s booming military-industrial complex grew GDP by 1.5% in 2023, a significant chunk of the total GDP growth last year of around 5%.
Kamyshin said he was confident that figure would double to 3% of GDP growth this year. But he warned Ukraine’s government could not afford to buy up all its domestic weapons production.

Ukraine was in discussions with international allies about the purchase of weapons for Ukraine from Ukrainian makers to cover the financial shortfall, he said.

“I am convinced that we will start purchases from Ukrainian manufacturers with foreign funds in the new future,” he said. 

Advertisement

Continue Reading

World

Aseefa Bhutto Zardari sworn in MNA

Aseefa Bhutto Zardari sworn in MNA

Published

on

By

Aseefa Bhutto Zardari sworn in MNA

Aseefa Bhutto Zardari was sworn in as a member of the National Assembly.

NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq administered the oath.

During the session, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari provided headphones to Aseefa Bhutto Zardari to reduce the noise disturbances as PTI MNAs raised slogans calling for the release of the PTI founder.

Following Aseefa Zardari’s swearing-in, PPP members also chanted slogans in support of the Bhutto family like ‘jiye Bhutto’. 

Advertisement

Continue Reading

World

British jets shot down Iranian drones, PM Sunak says

British jets shot down Iranian drones, PM Sunak says

Published

on

By

British jets shot down Iranian drones, PM Sunak says

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Sunday that British military jets shot down drones launched by Iran in its attack on Israel and called for “calm heads to prevail” to avoid an escalation of the conflict.

“I can confirm that our planes did shoot down a number of Iranian attack drones,” Sunak told broadcasters.

“If this attack had been successful, the fallout for regional stability would be hard to overstate. We stand by the security of Israel and the wider region, which is of course important for our security here at home, too. What we now need is for calm heads to prevail.”

Sunak was due to join discussions between Group of Seven leaders later on Sunday.

Advertisement

“It’s important that we coordinate with allies and we’ll be discussing next steps at that moment,” he said

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © GLOBAL TIMES PAKISTAN