Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Somali President to ‘Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt’ : No Talks with Sisi on War Declaration against Ethiopia

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud during his interview with Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt in Cairo (Photo: Abdel Fattah Farag)
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud during his interview with Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt in Cairo (Photo: Abdel Fattah Farag)
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Somali President to ‘Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt’ : No Talks with Sisi on War Declaration against Ethiopia

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud during his interview with Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt in Cairo (Photo: Abdel Fattah Farag)
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud during his interview with Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt in Cairo (Photo: Abdel Fattah Farag)

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, speaking to Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt after a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, played down the possibility of a war between Egypt and Somalia against Ethiopia.
This comes after a controversial deal between Ethiopia and the breakaway region of Somaliland, giving it access to the Red Sea.
From his residence in Cairo, Mohamud discussed the situation in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea in light of the Gaza conflict, following talks with Sisi, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb.
He clarified that Somalia is not about to declare war on Ethiopia but urged Ethiopia to respect Somalia’s sovereignty.
Despite tensions in the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa, Mohamud sees opportunities amid the crises.
He ruled out war with Ethiopia, stating that Somalia’s focus is on fighting terrorism, particularly the extremist “Al-Shabaab” movement.
Mohamud expressed willingness to negotiate with them if they abandon Al-Qaeda’s ideology and recognize the Somali state.
Emphasizing that his country hasn’t dismissed political solutions regarding the recent developments in Ethiopia, Mohamud clarified that there's “no official war declaration, neither from Egypt nor Somalia.”
He stated that talks with Sisi didn't involve planning a war against Ethiopia.
“We haven't discussed how to wage war. Our relationship with Egypt is long-standing and supportive over time,” affirmed the president.
“No new agreements or defense pacts are needed. Both Somalia and Egypt, as Arab League members, follow an Arab approach in defending themselves,” he highlighted.
“The framework is there. Our discussions focused on improving the normal relationship between two brotherly nations, enhancing economic ties, addressing geo-political and strategic issues, and, of course, security,” explained Mohamud.
He stressed that improving relations with Egypt doesn't mean targeting any other country.
“Our discussions were in the interest of both our nations and not a threat to another country,” reiterated Mohamud.
When asked about the possibility of a military alliance against Ethiopia, he said : “Our ties with Egypt are not meant to be against any country. We aim to support Somalia in self-defense, not to threaten anyone.”
“We don't consider war lightly, and Somalia doesn't want it. We are already dealing with a significant threat from terrorists like Al-Shabaab.”
“We are not planning for war unless it becomes necessary, and we hope it doesn't,” emphasized Mohamud.
Regarding talks with Al-Shabaab, the Somali President explained, “We won't consider war if Al-Shabaab acts rationally or has a national agenda. However, they are a global terrorist group following Al-Qaeda's agenda. If they abandon that ideology and recognize Somalia, we are willing to negotiate.”
He also denied having information about countries supporting Al-Shabaab, saying, “There might be sympathizers with Al-Qaeda in various parts of the world, but Al-Shabaab raises funds locally, and we are working to stop that.”
Discussing the current situation in the Horn of Africa, Mohamud acknowledged its complexity but highlighted potential opportunities.
He noted the world’s renewed focus on Africa due to various challenges in the region, such as Houthi activity, piracy, and Ethiopia’s considerations regarding Somalia.
Mohamud emphasized the importance of a Somali state, emphasizing that it can only be achieved by the Somali people.
He mentioned past attempts by the world to establish a state in Somalia without success.
However, he expressed optimism about the Somali people creating an effective state, with global support from the African Union and international partners.
He pointed out positive developments, including the lifting of a 31-year arms embargo and the cancellation of debts.
Mohamud stated that strong and responsible state institutions are developing in Somalia, instilling global confidence in government operations.
He sees this as a sign of Somalia's resurgence, expressing great optimism that the historical issues of state fragility are nearing an end.
Despite Somalia’s richness in resources and its vital global position, past challenges like state collapse, civil war, and fragility have led to poverty. The president affirmed his belief that Somalia is now moving past these challenges and entering a new phase.

 

 



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Siddiq al-Mahdi: Sudanese Public Unites on Need to End War

Secretary-General of the Sudanese Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces (Taqaddum), Siddiq al-Mahdi (Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt)
Secretary-General of the Sudanese Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces (Taqaddum), Siddiq al-Mahdi (Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt)
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Siddiq al-Mahdi: Sudanese Public Unites on Need to End War

Secretary-General of the Sudanese Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces (Taqaddum), Siddiq al-Mahdi (Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt)
Secretary-General of the Sudanese Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces (Taqaddum), Siddiq al-Mahdi (Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt)

Siddiq al-Mahdi, Secretary-General of the Sudanese Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces (Taqaddum), stressed the urgent need for humanitarian aid to Sudanese citizens suffering from the ongoing conflict.

In an interview with Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt in Addis Ababa, al-Mahdi criticized the National Congress Party for manipulating its alliance with the military to advance its political goals.

Al-Mahdi said he would only engage in the political process if the party ends its connection with the military and security forces.

He highlighted a growing recognition of the need to end the war, noting a shift away from military solutions as a positive sign of Sudanese public opinion converging on the need for peace.

The Taqaddum official said this change has reduced support for the war and increased regional and international calls for its end.

Al-Mahdi warned that the war has caused a severe humanitarian crisis and poses threats to the region, neighboring countries, the Horn of Africa, and Red Sea security.

“The need to stop the war is now urgent, and we must act on this,” he said.

He praised international efforts, including the Paris and Cairo conferences and the UN's attempts to bring the warring sides together in Geneva for aid and protection.

Al-Mahdi also revealed that his coalition had proposed a plan to the military and Rapid Support Forces, focusing on humanitarian aid, political arrangements to end the war, and a transition to civilian democracy.

He stressed that the humanitarian situation cannot wait for the war to end.

“Providing aid and protecting citizens are urgent priorities. We need to act now to deliver aid, even before the war ends,” he said.

He noted that the best approach involves coordinating initiatives from various platforms, including Jeddah, IGAD, and its key member states Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, as well as Bahrain, the UAE, Egypt, the African Union, and the United Nations.

Al-Mahdi emphasized that all these entities are working on humanitarian and peace efforts.

He stated that any alignment among mediators, conflict parties, and civil components is viewed by Taqaddum as a comprehensive process for achieving peace.