Ethiopia’s Access to Seaport Guarantees Maritime Security

Ethiopia’s sovereign access to seaport and its establishment of a naval base would guarantee an enduring peace for the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden region, a scholar familiar with the issue said.

Speaking to the Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA), a Political Science Scholar Prof. Biruk Hailu stated that Ethiopia’s acquisition of a sea gate in the strategic, yet volatile region is of great significance to the area’s maritime security and repulsing criminal activities.

As to him, the security of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden will be more guaranteed if Ethiopia has direct access to a seaport and can participate well in maritime issues. Besides, the seaport plays a critical role in intensifying its commercial activities and deploying the naval forces. Therefore, Ethiopia’s aspiration to direct access to port is justifiable and reasonable on legal, moral and other grounds.

Prof. Biruk lamented, “Taking its large population and economic prowess into account, Ethiopia has been suffering a lot in the past 30 and plus years due to the absences of direct access to seaport and the loss has also had a lasting impact on its security and the public wellbeing.”

He also said that Ethiopia’s acquisition of a seaport from Somaliland comes based on two sides’ interests and a win-win approach, not by any pressure or coercion. “I think some interest groups’ opposition to the port deal is influenced by the distorted information of our historical enemies.”

“Why it strange for Ethiopia, only 60 kilometers away from the sea, to establish a military base in Somaliland while different countries that are far away from the region already have a strong military presence?”

Likewise, Ethiopia has many commercial ships that are operating as far as China and South America but no party to protect them. Therefore, the agreement would help to protect the ships security through cooperative approach, the expert emphasized.

BY MESERET BEHAILU

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