Somalia–Yemen relations

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Somali–Yemeni relations
Map indicating locations of Somalia and Yemen



Somalia–Yemen relations are bilateral relations between Somalia and Yemen. Both Arab League members, the two countries formally established diplomatic ties on December 18, 1960.


Relations between the modern-day territories of Somalia and Yemen stretch back to antiquity. A number of both Yemeni and Somali clans trace descent to the latter region.[1] The 1st century CE Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, among other documents, also reports early commercial exchanges between traders inhabiting city-states on the northern Somalia littoral with Himyarite and Sabaean merchants.[2] Numerous artefacts dating from this period have been uncovered in Somalia, such as at the Damo site in the northeastern Puntland region.[3] In the Middle Ages, the Somali Sultanates often recruited troops from Yemen's Hadhramaut region.[4] During the medieval period, disgruntled Yemenis from the Hadhrami wars additionally sought and received asylum in Somali Kingdoms like Ajuran Empire and Adal Sultanate.[5][6] Yemen was colonized by the Portuguese Empire and the powerful Somalis from Ajuran Empire liberated Aden and other provinces in Yemen occupied by the Portuguese colonizers.[7]

Yemen in turn unconditionally opened its borders to Somali nationals following the outbreak of the civil war in Somalia in the early 1990s.[8]

Over the ensuing interim period, the Yemeni authorities maintained relations with Somalia's newly established Transitional National Government and its successor the Transitional Federal Government. In September 2012, at a mini-summit on Somalia held during the 67th session of the UN General Assembly, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, on behalf of President of Yemen Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, welcomed the Somali government's completion of its scheduled shift from a transitional administration to a permanent one and urged the international community to continue its support for the ongoing post-conflict reconstruction efforts in Somalia.[9]

The Federal Government of Somalia was later established on August 20, 2012,[10] representing the first permanent central government in the country since the start of the conflict.[10] The following month, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was elected as the new government's first President. The election was welcomed by the Yemeni authorities, who re-affirmed Yemen's continued support for Somalia's government, its territorial integrity and sovereignty.[11] During the Houthi insurgency in 2015 in Yemen, Foreign Minister of Somalia Abdisalam Omer likewise reiterated his administration's support for the legitimacy of Yemen's incumbent government led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.[12]

Trade and agreements[edit]

In May 2014, the Somali State Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Bur’i Mohamed Hamza met with the Yemeni Ambassador to Somalia Fu'ad Mohamed Al Zorqah to discuss bilateral cooperation. The conference was held at the Foreign Affairs Ministry compound in Mogadishu and touched on a number of issues, including the launching of a direct flight between Mogadishu and Sana'a. Operated by Al Saeda Airlines, it is the first air route directly linking both capitals since the collapse of Somalia's former central government in 1991.[13]

In June 2014, the Fisheries Minister of the Puntland State of Somalia Hasan Mahmoud announced that the Somali and Yemeni governments are slated to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to regulate fishing within Somalia's territorial waters by Yemeni fishermen. The Puntland and Yemeni Fisheries ministries are also scheduled to hold talks on bilateral cooperation, with the aim of preserving and effectively exploiting marine resources.[14]

Diplomatic missions[edit]

Somalia maintains an embassy in Yemen. The diplomatic mission is led by Ambassador Ismail Qassim Naji.[15]

Yemen also has an embassy in Mogadishu.[16] The diplomatic mission is headed by Ambassador Fu'ad Mohamed Al Zorqah.[13]

In May 2015, Yemen opened a new consulate in Puntland.[17] Additionally, Puntland is slated to open a consulate in Sana'a.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lewis, I. M.; Said Samatar (1999). A Pastoral Democracy: A Study of Pastoralism and Politics Among the Northern Somali of the Horn of Africa. LIT Verlag Berlin-Hamburg-Münster. pp. 11–13. ISBN 3-8258-3084-5.
  2. ^ Schoff (tr. & ed.), W.H. (1912). The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: Travel and Trade in the Indian Ocean by a Merchant of the First Century. London, Bombay & Calcutta.
  3. ^ Neville Chittick, An Archaeological Reconnaissance of the Horn: The British-Somali Expedition, (1975), pp.117-133.
  4. ^ Metz, Helen Chapin (1993). Somalia: a country study. The Division. p. 10.
  5. ^ R. J. Gavin (1975). Aden under British rule, 1839–1967. Hurst. p. 198.
  6. ^ Lee V. Cassanelli (1973). The Benaadir past: essays in southern Somali history. University of Wisconsin. p. 24.
  7. ^ Welch (1950), p. 25.
  8. ^ World Refugee Survey. United States Committee for Refugees. 1997. p. 169.
  9. ^ "Yemen : President Hadi calls on int’l community to bear its responsibilities towards Somalia" Archived 2013-10-17 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ a b "Somalia: UN Envoy Says Inauguration of New Parliament in Somalia 'Historic Moment'". Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  11. ^ "Communiqué on Secretary-General's Mini-Summit on Somalia". United Nations. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  12. ^ "Somali Foreign Minister visits injured Somalis at UAE hospitals". Goobjoog. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  13. ^ a b "SOMALIA: State minister receives two Arab Ambassadors in Mogadishu". Raxanreeb. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Yemen, Somalia to sign MoU to regulate fishing". Horseed Media. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  15. ^ Hussein, Adnan (21 January 2013). "Mohamud's visit to United States opens door to further diplomatic success". Sabahi. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  16. ^ Villelabeitia, Ibon (19 August 2011). "Turkish PM to set up Somali embassy". Reuters. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  17. ^ "Somalia: Yemen launches consulate in Puntland". Garowe Online. 24 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Somalia: Puntland President meets his Yemeni counterpart". Horseed Media. 5 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014.