Foreign Minister’s Special Representative on Peace Mediation in the Horn of Africa Suldaan Said Ahmed visited Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia
Member of the Parliament of Finland Suldaan Said Ahmed visited the Horn of Africa on 14-27 July. During his trip, Special Representative Said Ahmed visited Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia, including Mogadishu, as well as Hargeisa in Somaliland.
The main purpose of the visit was to meet decision-makers in the region, hear their views on the situation in the Horn of Africa and discuss Finland’s role in the region, especially in peace mediation. The region is affected by many conflicts and considered one of the most fragile in the world. In addition to the ongoing conflicts, a drought, which is the most serious in decades, is causing concern in the region.
“I have followed the development of the region closely, especially now that the food and climate crisis is threatening the region’s stability even more than before. I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet decision-makers in the region even if our discussions centred on serious topics. My knowledge of the challenges and root causes of the region’s conflicts was important in the discussions that focused on promoting dialogue and peace,” Said Ahmed says. In the discussions, he also highlighted the role that the diaspora communities and young people can play in the promotion of peace.
Important discussions on regional situation
In Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, Said Ahmed met with Minister of Finance Ahmed Shide, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Tesfaye Yilma as well as the chair of the parliamentary committee for foreign affairs. With them, Said Ahmed discussed the situation in Ethiopia and the neighbouring areas and the ways in which the international community could provide support in finding peaceful solutions. One of the key topics raised was the conflict in Northern Ethiopia, which has been ongoing since 2020. The discussions also covered the impacts that Russian invasion of Ukraine could have on food security in the Horn of Africa region.
In Djibouti, Said Ahmed met President Ismail Guelleh and discussed with him the relations between Finland and Djibouti and the situation in the Horn of Africa, in particular.
In Mogadishu, Said Ahmed discussed the key priorities of the new Somali Government with Hamza Abdi Barre, who recently took up duties as the country’s prime minister. Their discussion centred around security and the actions against the terrorist organisation Al-Shabaab. At the same time, Barre emphasised the need for dialogue to improve trust in society. The problems caused by climate change are also serious in Somalia. Barre thanked Finland for its long-lasting partnership with Somalia and welcomed Said Ahmed’s new role as Special Representative.
In Hargeisa, Said Ahmed met many of Somaliland’s political leaders. The discussions focused on the state of democracy in Somaliland and the need for peaceful resolution of disputes.
Finland has long-standing bilateral relations with several countries in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia and Somalia are Finland’s development cooperation partner countries. Finland’s development cooperation support to Somalia in 2021-2024 amounts to EUR 54 million and to Ethiopia EUR 75.2 million. Peace mediation is one of the priorities of our Africa strategy and Finland’s foreign and security policy.
- Johanna Laukkanen, Programme Officer, Unit for the Horn of Africa and Eastern Africa, tel. +358 295 350 633
- The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Read more about the appointment of Suldaan Said Ahmed as Special Representative