Somalia’s new foreign minister, Mohamed Abdirqzak, has for the first time responded to the ongoing war in Ethiopia.
In an interview with VOA Somali, the foreign minister said the Somali government has never applauded wars affecting the region and has always contributed to regional stability.
He also said that the government would not interfere in the situation inside Ethiopia, especially in the Tigray region.
“Ethiopia is our neighbour and we are concerned about the conflict because it will have an impact in our country and also many people are displaced as the other African countries don’t want conflict in that region we also want the same,” he told VOA Somali.
He also denied that any Somali forces had taken part in the fighting, calling it “unreasonable”.
However, President Farmajo has previously expressed support for the Ethiopian federal government’s military operation in the Tigray region, which the Abiy government recently said was over.
The Ethiopian government has been trying to quell a rebellion by the TPLF, a powerful ethnically based party that dominated the central government for nearly three decades until Abiy came to power in 2018.
Thousands of people are believed to have been killed since the fighting began, more than 43,000 have fled to neighbouring Sudan, and there are reports of militias attacking civilians.
Tensions escalated after Tigray held a regional election in September in defiance of the federal government, which had postponed voting nationwide in August because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government called the Tigray vote illegal.