Ethiopia will investigate how a map published in the country’s foreign ministry website erased neighboring Somalia and incorporated it within Ethiopia’s border.
Speaking to local and foreign media outlets, Nebiat Getachew, Spokesperson of Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), said an investigation is underway into how a wrong map was published on the ministry’s website.
“Ethiopia apologizes for the mapping error. MoFA has taken off from its website the wrong map once the error was noticed,” said Getachew.
Getachew said MoFA gets its globe map from the state-owned Ethiopia Mapping Agency and his ministry will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the source of the blundered map.
The map had erased Somalia, but had shown the semi-autonomous region of Somaliland, adding another layer of controversy.
Ethiopia and Somalia have a long-complicated history dating back to the 1960s, when Somalia claimed parts of Somali speaking parts of eastern Ethiopia as historically part of Somalia.
The two countries went to war from 1977-1978, over the disputed Ogaden region administered by Ethiopia at the time, but claimed by Somalia. The war ended with Ethiopia’s victory.
In recent years, ties between Ethiopia and Somalia have shown signs of thawing, with Ethiopia sending troops in December 2006, to support a weak central Somalia government against an onslaught of Islamist rebels.
Ethiopia has also sent thousands of its troops to Somalia, as part of the UN-mandated African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), tasked with stabilizing Somalia and fighting the extremist rebel group Al-Shabab.
In November 2018, Ethiopia’s national air carrier Ethiopian Airlines started thrice-weekly direct passenger flights between Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, after 41 years break, adding momentum to increasing bilateral economic ties. Enditem