Ethiopia Denies Blocking Somalia President from AU Summit, Citing Security Protocol

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The Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Ambassador Meles Alem, has refuted claims of attempting to block the President of Somalia from accessing the African Union summit in Ethiopia.

This stemmed from the recent accusation by Somalia claiming that Ethiopia attempted to block President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud from accessing the African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa.

Ambassador Meles stated in his speech on Sunday, February 18, 2024, that the Ethiopian government is responsible for ensuring the security of Heads of Government and State from all countries during their stay in Addis Ababa, particularly during significant diplomatic events such as the AU summit.

He explained that deploying security personnel for the safety of guests is common practice in such situations, but the Somalia President refused to accept the security personnel assigned to him.

β€œHowever, the President of Somalia refused to accept the security personnel deployed for him by the Government of Ethiopia,” Ambassador Meles stated.

He further clarified that the deployment of security personnel was aimed at ensuring the safety of all attending leaders.

He also revealed that the Somali President’s security guards attempted to enter the African Union Headquarters armed with guns. In response, Ethiopian security personnel denied them entry, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a safe environment for all attendees.

β€œThe President of Somalia acted contrary to the accustomed procedures for such big diplomatic events.

He expressed disappointment with the Somali delegation’s refusal to cooperate with existing security measures.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirmed Ethiopia’s commitment to hosting successful and secure diplomatic gatherings, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and adherence to Β established protocols to ensure the safety of all participating leaders.

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