Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed is continuing to live up to his Nobel Peace Prize-winner status after brokering a meeting between the leaders of Somalia and the breakaway territory of Somaliland on Tuesday, February 11. Held in Addis Ababa, the meeting between the two heads of state is a first since Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Somaliland leader Muse Bihi Abdi took power in 2017.
The Ethiopian government refused to talk publicly on the discussions and no communiques have been issued. Somalia’s presidential spokesman Abdinur Mohamed characterized the meeting as an “ice breaker”.
Somaliland separated from Somalia in 1991 following government collapse. Unlike its southern neighbor, which has been repeatedly struck by violence from the Al-Shabab insurgency, Somaliland has managed to remain relatively stable and peaceful. Despite lacking formal international recognition, Somaliland has maintained a separate legal code, currency, government bureaucracy, and security system. Past talks have failed to reach an agreement regarding a future reunification.