As the tensions between Somalia and Ethiopia rose, Ethiopia displayed some of its air forces equipment, including Bayraktar AKINCI UCAV. In addition to AKINCI, several Su-27UB twin-seater fighter jets were seen as well.
There has been a dispute between Ethiopia and Somalia stemming from the former’s attempts at cooperation with Somaliland, which unilaterally separated from Somalia.
The cooperation involves Ethiopia signing a memorandum of understanding with Somaliland to gain access to the ports and, by extension, the Red Sea. In turn, Ethiopia will recognize Somaliland as an ‘independent state’ after the deal is finalised.
Ethiopia lost its access to the sea following Eritrea declaring its independence from Ethiopia. In summary, Ethiopia views Somaliland as a second chance to regain its access. This eventually led to a backlash from Somalia.
The memorandum of understanding was rejected by Somalian Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre. Barre warned Ethiopia not to intervene in Somalian territories and that military force would be used if Ethiopia carried on with its efforts to use ports in Somaliland.
Turkish company Baykar sold the UCAVs before the crisis broke out. Turkiye supports Somalia’s territorial integrity.