Foreign relations of Somalia

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Coat of arms of Somalia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Somalia

Foreign relations of Somalia are handled by the President as the head of state, the Prime Minister as the head of government, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Government of Somalia.

Horn of Africa[edit]

Djibouti[edit]

As the headquarters of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development regional body, Djibouti has been an active participant in the Somalian peace process. It hosted the Arta conference in 2000,[1] as well as the 2008-2009 talks between the Transitional Federal Government and the Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia, which led to the formation of a coalition government.[2] In 2011, Djibouti joined the African Union Mission to Somalia.[3] Following the establishment of the Federal Government of Somalia in 2012,[4] a Djibouti delegation also attended the inauguration ceremony of Somalia's new president.[5]

Ethiopia[edit]

Relations between the peoples of Somalia and Ethiopia stretch back to antiquity, to a common origin. The Ethiopian region is one of the proposed homelands of the Horn of Africa's various Afro-Asiatic communities.[6]

During the Middle Ages, Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi (Ahmad Gurey or Gragn) led a Conquest of Abyssinia (Futuh al-Habash), which brought three-quarters of the Christian Ethiopian Empire under the power of the Muslim Adal Sultanate.[7][8] With an army mainly composed of Somalis,[9] Many historians trace the origins of tensions between Somalia and Ethiopia to this war.[10]

In the 1960s and 1970s, a territorial dispute over the Ogaden region led to various armed confrontations between the Somalian and Ethiopian militaries. The tensions culminated in the Ogaden War, which saw the Somali army capture most of the disputed territory by September 1977, before finally being expelled by a coalition of communist forces.

With changes in leadership in the early 1990s brought on by the start of the Somali Civil War and Ethiopian Civil War, respectively, relations between the Somali and Ethiopian authorities entered a new phase of military cooperation against the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) rebel group and its more radical successor Al-Shabaab. In October 2011, a coordinated multinational operation began against Al-Shabaab in southern Somalia; the Ethiopian military eventually joined the Transitional Federal Government-led mission the following month.[11]

The Federal Government of Somalia was later established on August 20, 2012,[4] representing the first permanent central government in the country since the start of the civil war.[4] The following month, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was elected as the new Somali government's first President, with the Ethiopian authorities welcoming his selection and newly appointed Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn attending Mohamud's inauguration ceremony.[5]

Europe[edit]

Denmark[edit]

Diplomatic relations between Somalia and Denmark were established on 9 July 1960, shortly after the Somali Republic's independence.[12]

During the Siad Barre administration, Somalia and Denmark strengthened cooperation. The Danish International Development Agency agreed to provide a $1.4 million loan toward the development of Somalia's northern fisheries industry.[13] Additionally, the Somalian and Danish foreign ministries signed a loan agreement in 1981, wherein 45 million DKK ($8,284,410.00 USD) was issued to Somalia to finance imports of Danish capital goods, as well as local cost expenditures and purchases of Danish capital equipment and services.[14]

In September 1992, Danish Foreign Minister Uffe Ellemann Jensen and other senior officials visited southern Somalia, one of the first foreign delegations to do so since the start of the civil war the year before.[15] Although the Danish embassy in Mogadishu closed down operations, the Danish authorities in the ensuing years maintained relations with Somalia's newly established Transitional National Government and its successor the Transitional Federal Government.

The subsequent establishment of the Federal Government of Somalia in August 2012 was welcomed by the Danish authorities, who re-affirmed Denmark's continued support for Somalia's government, its territorial integrity and sovereignty.[16] In December 2013, the Danish government appointed Geert Aagaard Andersen as the new Danish Ambassador to Somalia, the first in twenty years. Andersen presented his credentials to Somalian President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud at a ceremony in Mogadishu.[17]

France[edit]

Embassy of Somalia in Paris.

Bilateral relations between France and Somalia were established shortly after Somalia's independence. The French government opened an embassy in Mogadishu, and its Somalian counterpart likewise maintained an embassy in Paris. The French embassy later closed down operations in June 1993, shortly after the start of the civil war in Somalia. In the ensuing years, France maintained diplomatic relations with the Somali Transitional National Government and its successor the Transitional Federal Government. It also supported local peace initiatives by the European Union and international community.[18]

The subsequent establishment of the Federal Government of Somalia in August 2012 was welcomed by the French authorities, who re-affirmed France's continued support for Somalia's government, its territorial integrity and sovereignty.[16]

Following a significantly improved security situation, the Government of France in January 2014 appointed Remi Marechaux as the new French ambassador to Somalia. Ambassador Marechaux concurrently presented his credentials to the Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud at a ceremony in Mogadishu.[19]

Italy[edit]

In terms of administration, Italy first gained a foothold in Somalia through the signing of various pacts and agreements in the late 19th century with the ruling Somali Majeerteen Sultanate and Sultanate of Hobyo, led by King Osman Mahamuud and Sultan Yusuf Ali Kenadid, respectively.[20][21] In 1936, the acquired territory, dubbed Italian Somaliland, was integrated into Africa Orientale Italiana as part of the Italian Empire. This would last until 1941, during World War II. Italian Somaliland then came under British administration until 1949, when it became a United Nations trusteeship, the Trust Territory of Somalia, under Italian administration. On July 1, 1960, the Trust Territory of Somalia united as scheduled with the briefly extant State of Somaliland (the former British Somaliland) to form the Somali Republic.[22][23]

Although most Italian Somalis left the territory after independence, Somalia's relations with Italy remained strong in the following years and through the ensuing civil war period. The Federal Government of Somalia was later established on August 20, 2012.[4] Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi welcomed the new administration, and re-affirmed Italy's continued support for the Somali authorities.[24]

Turkey[edit]

The new embassy of Turkey in Mogadishu.

Somalia–Turkey relations date back to the Middle Ages and the ties between the Adal Sultanate and the Ottoman Empire. Prior to the breakout of the civil war in Somalia in 1991, Turkey maintained an embassy in Mogadishu. It later discontinued operations due to security reasons.[25] In 2011, the Turkish government announced that it would reopen its embassy in Somalia.[26] The Somali federal government also maintains an embassy in Ankara, Turkey's capital.[27]

During the drought of 2011, Turkey contributed over $201 million to the humanitarian relief efforts in the impacted parts of Somalia.[28] Following a greatly improved security situation in Mogadishu in mid-2011, the Turkish government also re-opened its foreign embassy with the intention of more effectively assisting in the post-conflict development process.[29] It was among the first foreign administrations to resume formal diplomatic relations with Somalia after the civil war.[30]

Additionally, Turkish Airlines became the first long-distance international commercial airline in two decades to land at Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport.[30] As of March 2012, the flag carrier offers two flights a week from the Somali capital to Istanbul.[30]

In partnership with the Somali government, Turkish officials have also launched various development and infrastructure projects in Somalia. They have assisted in the building of several hospitals, and helped renovate and rehabilitate the Aden Adde International Airport and the National Assembly building, among other initiatives.[30]

United Kingdom[edit]

Former Minister of Finance of Somalia Mohamud Hassan Suleiman with UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening at the 2013 London Conference.

Somalia–United Kingdom relations date back to the 19th century. In 1884, Britain established the British Somaliland protectorate in present-day northern Somalia after signing successive treaties with the then ruling Somali Sultans, such as Mohamoud Ali Shire of the Warsangali Sultanate.[31] In 1900, the Somali religious leader Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan ("Mad Mullah")'s Dervish forces began a twenty-year resistance movement against British troops. This military campaign eventually came to an end in 1920, after Britain aerially bombarded the Dervish capital of Taleh.

British Somaliland became independent on 26 June 1960 as the State of Somaliland, and the Trust Territory of Somalia (the former Italian Somaliland) followed suit five days later. On July 1, 1960, the two territories united to form the Somali Republic.[22][23]

After the collapse of the Somali central government and the start of the civil war in 1991, the UK embassy in Mogadishu closed down.[32] However, the British government never formally severed diplomatic ties with Somalia. Britain acknowledged and supported the internationally-recognized Transitional Federal Government (TFG) as the country's national governing body. It also engaged Somalia's smaller regional administrations, such as Puntland and Somaliland, to ensure broad-based inclusion in the peace process.[33] In 2012, the British authorities additionally organized the London Conference on Somalia to coordinate the international community's support for the interim Somali government.

Following the establishment of the Federal Government of Somalia in mid-2012, British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the new administration and re-affirmed Britain's continued support for the Somali authorities.[34] On 25 April 2013, the UK also became the first Western country to re-open its embassy in Somalia, with British First Secretary of State William Hague attending the opening ceremony.[32] On 6 June 2013, the British government appointed Neil Wigan as the new British Ambassador to Somalia. He succeeded Matt Baugh.[35]

East Asia[edit]

Japan[edit]

Prior to 1991 and the start of the civil war, the Somali authorities maintained bilateral relations with the government of Japan. The Japanese administration subsequently pledged development funds through various international organizations. With the formation of the Federal Government of Somalia in 2012, the Japanese government re-established formal diplomatic ties with the Somali authorities. In 2013, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also announced that Japan would resume direct assistance to Somalia, particularly in the areas of security, industrial development, and bilateral trade and investment.[36]

In January 2014, Japan appointed Tatsushi Terada as the new Japanese Ambassador to Somalia,[37] replacing Atoshisa Takata.[38] Ambassador Terada concurrently presented his credentials to the Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud at a ceremony in Mogadishu.[37]

People's Republic of China[edit]

Relations between the territories of present-day Somalia and China date back to antiquity, when communities in both regions engaged in commercial exchanges.

On 14 December 1960, formal ties between the Somali and Chinese governments were established.[39] Somalia and China later signed their first official trade agreement in June 1963.[40]

During the Cold War period, the Somali government maintained active relations with its Chinese counterpart. The Somali authorities campaigned for an end to China's diplomatic isolation and supported instead its entry into the United Nations.[41]

In January 1991, the Chinese embassy in Mogadishu closed down operations due to the start of the civil war in Somalia.[42] Despite the departure of most Chinese officials, the two countries maintained a small trading relationship in the ensuing years. Total trade volume in 2002 was US$3.39 million, with Somalia exporting US$1.56 million of goods to China and importing $1.83 million.[39]

From 2000 to 2011, approximately seven Chinese development projects were launched in Somalia.[43] These initiatives included $6 million in economic assistance,[44] donation of anti-malaria drugs,[45] and $3 million in debt relief.[46]

In July 2007, the Chinese state-owned oil company CNOOC also signed an oil exploration agreement with the Somali government over the north-central Mudug province, situated in the autonomous Puntland region.[47]

Following the establishment of the Federal Government of Somalia in mid-2012, the Chinese authorities reaffirmed their support for the Somali government and called on the international community to strengthen its commitment to the Somali peace process. China's Permanent Representative to the UN, Li Baodong, also emphasized his administration's support for the Somali federal government's stabilization plan, including the latter's efforts at "implementing an interim Constitution, carrying out its six-point plan, strengthening institutional capacity, exercising government functions and extending effective authority over all its national territory."[48]

In August 2013, follow a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, Somalia's Foreign Minister Fowziya Yusuf Haji Adan announced that the Somali authorities looked forward to cooperation with the Chinese government in the energy, infrastructure, national security and agriculture sectors, among others. Wang also praised the traditional friendship between both nations and re-affirmed China's commitment to the Somali peace process.[49] In September 2013, both governments signed an official cooperation agreement in Mogadishu as part of a five-year national recovery plan in Somalia. The pact will see the Chinese authorities reconstruct several major infrastructural landmarks in the Somalian capital and elsewhere, including the National Theatre, a hospital, and the Mogadishu Stadium, as well as the road between Galkayo and Burao in northern Somalia. Additionally, Chinese ambassador Liu Guangyoun indicated that China would re-open its embassy in Mogadishu on land that had been donated for the purpose by the Somali government.[50]

South Korea[edit]

South Korea officially recognizes and maintains diplomatic ties with the Federal Government of Somalia. In May 2013, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud accepted the credentials of the new South Korean Ambassador to Mogadishu, Kim Chan-Woo, the first diplomatic representative of an Asian Pacific country to work in Somalia in many years. Chan-Woo also announced that South Korea would re-open its embassy in the Somali capital.[51] Additionally, the Ambassador indicated that his administration would support the Somali government's ongoing reconstruction efforts, in the process making use of South Korea's own experience in post-conflict rehabilitation and development gained from the Korean War. He also asserted that his administration would once again launch agricultural and technical projects in Somalia, as the South Korean authorities had done in the past.[52]

Arab world[edit]

Yemen[edit]

Although relations between the modern-day territories of Somalia and Yemen stretch back to antiquity, the two countries formally established diplomatic ties on December 18, 1960. Both nations are also members of the Arab League.

Following the outbreak of the civil war in Somalia in the 1990s, the Yemeni authorities maintained relations with Somalia's newly established Transitional National Government and its successor the Transitional Federal Government.[53] The subsequent establishment of the Federal Government of Somalia in August 2012 was also welcomed by the Yemeni authorities, who re-affirmed Yemen's continued support for Somalia's government, its territorial integrity and sovereignty.[16]

Additionally, Somalia maintains an embassy in Yemen, with the diplomatic mission led by Ambassador Ismail Qassim Naji.[54] Yemen also has an embassy in Mogadishu.[55]

United Arab Emirates[edit]

The United Arab Emirates officially recognizes and maintains diplomatic ties with the Federal Government of Somalia. Somalia also has an embassy in Abu Dhabi.

During the 2011 drought, the UAE authorities assisted the Somali government's humanitarian relief efforts and attempts at stabilizing the situation.[56] The UAE also supports the counter-piracy activities of the Somali authorities.[57]

In 2013, Foreign Minister of Somalia Fowziya Yusuf Haji Adan and her Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan signed a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral cooperation. The agreement re-establishes formal diplomatic ties between Somalia and the UAE, and also focuses on the political, security, economic, investment and development sectors. Additionally, the Emirati government announced that it would re-open its embassy in Mogadishu.[58]

Other regions[edit]

Kenya[edit]

Relations between Kenya and Somalia have historically been tense. Agitations over self-determination in the Somali-inhabited Northern Frontier District culminated in the Shifta War during the 1960s.[59] Although the conflict ended in a cease-fire, Somalis in the region still identify and maintain close ties with their kin in Somalia.[60]

In October 2011, a coordinated operation between the Somali military and the Kenyan military began against the Al-Shabaab group of insurgents in southern Somalia.[61][62] The mission was officially led by the Somali army, with the Kenyan forces providing a support role.[62] In early June 2012, Kenyan troops were formally integrated into AMISOM.[63]

Pakistan[edit]

Relations between the modern-day territories of Somalia and Pakistan stretch back to antiquity.[64] In 1969, Somalia and Pakistan were among the founding members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Somalia's relations with Pakistan remained strong in the following years and through the ensuing civil period, when Pakistan contributed to the UN peacekeeping operation in southern Somalia.[64]

Following the establishment of the Federal Government of Somalia in 2012, the Pakistani authorities welcomed the new administration, and re-affirmed Pakistan's continued support for Somalia's government, its territorial integrity and sovereignty.[64] Additionally, Somalia maintains an embassy in Islamabad.[65]

United States[edit]

After the collapse of the Barre government and the start of the civil war in the early 1990s, the U.S. embassy in Mogadishu closed down. However, the American government never formally severed diplomatic ties with Somalia. The U.S. acknowledged and supported the internationally-recognized, UN-backed Transitional Federal Government as the country's national governing body. It also engages Somalia's smaller regional administrations, such as Puntland and Somaliland, to ensure broad-based inclusion in the peace process.[66]

President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department (September 2013).

As of 2011, the United States maintains a non-resident diplomatic mission for Somalia in Nairobi. In addition, the Somalia embassy in the U.S. until recently had as its ambassador-designate Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the former Prime Minister of Somalia.[67][68]

The Federal Government of Somalia was established on August 20, 2012, concurrent with the end of the TFG's interim mandate.[4] It represents the first permanent central government in the country since the start of the civil war.[4] On September 10, 2012, the new Federal Parliament also elected Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as the incumbent President of Somalia.[69] The United States government subsequently released a press statement felicitating Mohamud on his victory, and promised to continue partnering with the Somali authorities.[70]

In January 2013, the U.S. announced that it was set to exchange diplomatic notes with the new central government of Somalia, re-establishing official ties with the country for the first time in 20 years. According to the Department of State, the decision was made in recognition of the significant progress that the Somali authorities had achieved on both the political and war fronts. The move is expected to grant the Somali government access to new sources of development funds from American agencies as well as international bodies like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, thereby facilitating the ongoing reconstruction process.[71][72]

International organization membership[edit]

Somalia is a member of a number of international organizations, such as the United Nations, African Union and Arab League.

Other memberships include:

ACP AfDB AFESD AL AMF CAEU ECA FAO G-77 IBRD ICAO ICRM IDA IDB IFAD IFC IFRCS IGAD ILO IMF IMO Intelsat Interpol IOC IOM ITU NAM OAU OIC UN UNCTAD UNESCO UNHCR UNIDO UPU WFTU WHO WIPO WMO

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

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  2. ^ "Somalia". World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2013-03-22. 
  3. ^ "Somalia: Djibouti Peacekeepers Arrive in Mogadishu to Join Amisom". Garowe Online. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Somalia: UN Envoy Says Inauguration of New Parliament in Somalia 'Historic Moment'". Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Mohamed, Mahmoud (17 September 2012). "Presidential inauguration ushers in new era for Somalia". Sabahi. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Levine, Donald N. (2000). Greater Ethiopia: The Evolution of a Multiethnic Society. University of Chicago Press. pp. 27–28. ISBN 0226475611. 
  7. ^ Saheed A. Adejumobi, The History of Ethiopia, (Greenwood Press: 2006), p.178
  8. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica, inc, Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 1, (Encyclopaedia Britannica: 2005), p.163
  9. ^ John L. Esposito, editor, The Oxford History of Islam, (Oxford University Press: 2000), p. 501
  10. ^ David D. Laitin and Said S. Samatar, Somalia: Nation in Search of a State (Boulder: Westview Press, 1987).
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  21. ^ The Majeerteen Sultanates
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  31. ^ Hugh Chisholm (ed.), The encyclopædia britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information, Volume 25, (At the University press: 1911), p.383.
  32. ^ a b "Britain Re-opens Embassy in Somalia". The Chosun Ilbo. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  33. ^ "The UK Prime Minister's Office Reply To The "Somaliland E-Petition"". Somaliland Times. 22 March 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
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  43. ^ Austin Strange, Bradley C. Parks, Michael J. Tierney, Andreas Fuchs, Axel Dreher, and Vijaya Ramachandran. 2013. China’s Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection. CGD Working Paper 323. Washington DC: Center for Global Development.http://china.aiddata.org
  44. ^ Strange, Parks, Tierney, Fuchs, Dreher, and Ramachandran. "China’s Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection". Aiddatachina.org. 
  45. ^ Strange, Parks, Tierney, Fuchs, Dreher, and Ramachandran. "China’s Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection". Aiddatachina.org. 
  46. ^ Strange, Parks, Tierney, Fuchs, Dreher, and Ramachandran. "China’s Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection". aiddatachina.or. 
  47. ^ Jopson, Barney (2007-07-13). "Somalia oil deal for China". Financial Times. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
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  51. ^ Abdiaziz, Hassan (16 May 2013). "South Korea Appoints Ambassador to Somalia". Heegan Times. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  52. ^ Ahmed, Abdalle (16 May 2013). "Somalia: President receives credentials from South Korean ambassador to Somalia". Raxanreeb. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  53. ^ ""Yemen : President Hadi calls on int’l community to bear its responsibilities towards Somalia"". Raxanreeb.com. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  54. ^ Hussein, Adnan (21 January 2013). "Mohamud's visit to United States opens door to further diplomatic success". Sabahi. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
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  59. ^ Rhoda E. Howard, Human Rights in Commonwealth Africa, (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.: 1986), p.95
  60. ^ Godfrey Mwakikagile, Kenya: identity of a nation, (Godfrey Mwakikagile: 2007), p.79.
  61. ^ "Somalia government supports Kenyan forces' mission". Standardmedia.co.ke. 
  62. ^ a b Joint Communique – Operation Linda Nchi[dead link]
  63. ^ "Kenya: Defense Minister appointed as acting Internal Security Minister". Garowe Online. 19 June 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  64. ^ a b c "United Nations Security Council, Sixty-seventh year, 6848th meeting". United Nations Security Council. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  65. ^ "Somalia Embassy in Pakistan". Visahq. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  66. ^ "The US Dual Track Policy Towards Somalia". Somaliareport.com. 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  67. ^ "Somali president names Sharmarke as new PM". Agence France-Presse. 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  68. ^ "Sharmarke Chosen as PM in Somalia's National Unity Government". Voice of America. 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  69. ^ "Somali lawmakers elect Mohamud as next president". Reuters. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  70. ^ United States Press Secretary. "U.S. congratulates Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on becoming Somalia’s new president". Horseed Media. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  71. ^ "US set to formally recognise Somali government after 20-year hiatus". Reuters. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  72. ^ "U.S. Set to Recognize Somali Government". VOA. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 

External links[edit]