The relations between Ethiopia and Somalia have started since Somalia has got its independence in 1961. The two countries had seen ups and downs in their relations since then. The war when the two countries fought in 1979 during the reign of Siad Barre, the former President of Somalia, was unfriendly in their history of ties.
However, their relationship is deeply rooted regardless of the type of government that they have. Taking into account these deep-rooted ties, they restored their diplomatic relations by opening missions in their capitals. Ethiopia opened Embassy in Mogadishu in 2007 and has consulates in Garowe and Hargeisa. The Somali Embassy was reopened in 2006 in Addis Ababa.
In the process of the State formation and reconstruction efforts of Somalia, Ethiopia has played and continues to play a critical role bilaterally and through IGAD. Since the establishment of Somalia Transitional Government in 2004, Ethiopia and Somalia have been working in coordination in the fight against terrorism, and towards ensuring lasting stability and political transformation in Somalia.
Believing that both countries’ peace and security is intertwined as they are neighbors, Ethiopia and Somalia are closely cooperating in the security and military fields. Ethiopia supports the Somalia reconstruction efforts through the capacity building of Somalia security institutions. It has been providing training for Somalia defense and police forces. As part of support to stabilize Somalia, Ethiopia has deployed more than 4,000 peacekeeping troops under AMISOM and played a critical role in security gains made in the fight against Al-Shabaab.
In addition, the two countries collaborate in the areas of education. Ethiopia has been granting scholarships every year to Somalia students in higher learning institutions for a first degree as well as post-graduate studies. In the academic year of 2019/2020 alone, Ethiopia granted over 315 scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate Somalia students.
The relations between the two countries have received a greater boost, with official and working visits by both leaders to the respective capitals.
Ø In 2018, the Ethiopian Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed made an official visit to Mogadishu, which gave a fresh impetus for the multi-faceted bilateral relations between the two countries.
Ø The FDRE former Prime Minister H.E Hailemariam Dessalegn attended the inauguration ceremony of Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed as the ninth President of Somalia in 2017, and
Ø The former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia H.E. Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu visited Somalia in October 2018.
Official and working visits from Somalia to Ethiopia:
Ø The President of Somalia H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed paid a working visit in October 2019,
Ø An Official visit made in March 2019 by the Somalia President H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed,
Ø Working visit paid by Somalia President H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed in November 2018,
Ø The Somalia Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Khayre Visited Ethiopia in 2017,
Ø Ministers for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Somalia have visited Ethiopia at different times, and
Ø Other Somalia Higher officials visited Ethiopia at different times.
To further strengthen their political, economic and social cooperation, Ethiopia and Somalia established a Joint Ministerial Commission in 2013. Both countries are committed to taking their relations to a higher level through deepening ties in defense, Foreign Ministries, Trade, Air Flight Service, Capacity Building and Public Administration cooperation, Education and Health.
In regional peace and security matters, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia have been working together after Ethiopia-Eritrea rapprochement. Following the restoration of bilateral relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and Eritrea and Somalia, the three countries agreed to work in coordination to promote regional peace and security with the intention to build close ties. Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea held a tripartite summit and issued a Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Cooperation on 5 September 2018. The three countries also held a second tripartite summit and reaffirmed their commitment to an inclusive regional peace and cooperation. With the framework of IGAD, Ethiopia and Somalia is working in collaboration with regional economic integration and peace and security.