Will Ethiopia formally recognise Somaliland as an independent state before 2025?
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Dec 31
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Before 2025

A clear statement from the Ethiopian government would be enough, they don't have to open an embassy

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@TrickyDuck pretty curious about the case for >90% here. Are you a Somaliland expert?

@SemioticRivalry Yes. Recognition will probably happen within next 2 months.

@TrickyDuck How do you know?

@SemioticRivalry I follow official statements on X (as well as individuals who are well connected), and they are saying that all the issues have been worked out. Also, last month Ethiopian officials briefed Somaliland media and opposition parties to prepare them for the coming announcement. Somaliland wants to wrap this up in May or June to help celebrate two important holidays (May 18: the date SL reclaimed its independence in 1991, and June 26: the date SL originally got independence in 1960).

@TrickyDuck where are you at with this now?

The deal is taking longer because there are lawyers involved, and there is money at stake.

All of the statements by people who are well connected suggests they are working out details, and that the deal will happen this summer. There will be economic benefits for both parties, so those are probably what they are negotiating (with each side trying to get the best terms possible). There are no indications that the deal is off track.

Going forward, there is pressure for both parties to finalize the agreement. For Somaliland, they have elections in November, so the party in power would like recognition to boost their reelection chances. For Ethiopia, the risk of dragging this out too long is that another country, such as Kenya, could step in and recognize Somaliland first, which would seriously hurt Addis Ababa’s negotiating position.

There is a report that Egypt’s President told the leader of Somalia that recognition is going to happen no matter what, and that Mogadishu should recognize Somaliland first in order to undercut Ethiopian influence. I think Mogadishu lacks the political will to take such a bold step, but this report illustrates the growing sense in the region that recognition is a matter of “when” not “if.”

I can no longer see Bruno's posts because I blocked him, but just to clarify for market participants who still can:

In the interests of the question I took up Bruno's generous suggestion to Google implied recognition, and I accept and agree that he's right on that point. For better or worse though, it doesn't effect this market because the title uses the word 'formal' and the description says the Ethiopian government should make a clear statement.

If the MoU they signed is a treaty, then Ethiopia *already* recognizes Somaliland. The only way to know is to read the text of the MoU, which unfortunately hasn't been released.

@BrunoParga not necessarily. States can sign treaties with entities they don't recognise as sovereign states.

@JoshuaWilkes I think you're probably thinking of Anglosphere countries' "treaties" with Native peoples, right?

Like the "countries" of the UK or the "sovereign" states of the US, these things aren't.

@BrunoParga actually I was thinking of the various treaties that Taiwan is a signatory of

@JoshuaWilkes such as?

Note I'm not denying the Republic of China is a signatory/party to any treaties, I'm asking which is specifically you have in mind because the way they fit with the concept that treaties entail state recognition varies.

Also, I should probably have pointed this out right off the bat: state recognition is different from government recognition. Nobody, except perhaps Ethiopia, recognizes that there is such a sovereign entity named Somaliland. Once they do, that's irreversible as long as Somaliland still has the four international law requirements for the existence of a state (territory, population, government, ability to enter into relations with other sovereign entities).

The situation with China is the opposite: everyone recognizes there is such a sovereign entity as China. What varies is which government, the one in Taipei or the one in Beijing, is the valid government of this one sovereign entity named China.

@JoshuaWilkes (please see big edit in the comment above)

@BrunoParga I wasn't thinking of any in particular, I thought you were saying that only states can sign treaties.

Seems your argument is that a bilateral treaty necessitates recognition? Or something else?

@JoshuaWilkes in international law, only subjects of international law – states, international organizations, and the two sui generis entities of the Holy See and the Order of Malta – can sign treaties, yes.

A bilateral treaty does imply mutual state recognition, yes. So if the MoU between Ethiopia and Somaliland is a treaty, then they mutually recognize each other. It is only the text of the MoU which can be used to ascertain whether it is a treaty or not.

I don't see how anything related to Taiwan can affect these facts, but I'll be happy to clarify if you have anything specific in mind (keeping track of the distinction between state and government distinction I've already explained, please).

@JoshuaWilkes wrt China, I tend to agree with Tsai that ROC and PRC are already different states and so I think the distinction between state recognition and government recognition seems hard to sustain.

@JoshuaWilkes the distinction between state and government recognition is an international law concept that exists both logically and chronologically prior to the split between communist and legitimate China, and it applies generally, not only to that case.

@BrunoParga "in international law, only subjects of international law – states, international organizations, and the two sui generis entities of the Holy See and the Order of Malta – can sign treaties, yes.

A bilateral treaty does imply mutual state recognition, yes"

can you point to a source on this please? It's not obvious why

@JoshuaWilkes "this" what? There are several concepts contained here.

@BrunoParga the bilateral part

@JoshuaWilkes "The situation with China is the opposite: everyone recognizes there is such a sovereign entity as China. What varies is which government, the one in Taipei or the one in Beijing, is the valid government of this one sovereign entity named China."

My point here is that there is blurring. PRC insists on One China Principle. ROC governments have in the past but at least for several more months do not. IE the Tsai administration does not claim to be government of the same China that the CCP does. Presumably one might argue that those who recognise the ROC don't make this distinction, but given that they recognise 'the' ROC I'm not sure it matters.

@JoshuaWilkes I'm still not super clear on what exactly you're saying, but I think we can look at what I like the call the Treaties Treaty, more formally the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties:

“treaty” means an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law, [...] whatever its particular designation;

Treaties are thingies that exist between states (or, more broadly, between subjects of international law, but the Convention only deals with those between States). They are legal instruments, meaning that what they do is create rights and obligations; the obligations a state takes on for itself in signing a treaty are obligations towards the other state.

Now, this isn't only about bilateral treaties, but it applies to any treaties with a closed number of Paaties - they all recognize each other because they all assume obligations towards each other. It is only treaties that are open for anyone to sign – where "anyone" usually means "any UN member state" – that do not imply everyone recognizes everyone else.

@JoshuaWilkes

My point here is that there is blurring. PRC insists on One China Principle. ROC governments have in the past but at least for several more months do not. IE the Tsai administration does not claim to be government of the same China that the CCP does. Presumably one might argue that those who recognise the ROC don't make this distinction, but given that they recognise 'the' ROC I'm not sure it matters.

The fact of the matter is that there have been two Chinese states since 1949. Political expediency and commie hissy fits mean that it is impossible for any state to have diplomatic relations with both these states. Diplomatic relations imply government and state recognition, but not vice versa.

Now, on the one hand it is true that all countries should normalize relations with the ROC and screw what commies think. But on the other hand, I personally like the concept of stating that commie rule in the mainland is not legitimate.

But in any case, none of this affects the clearly defined international law concepts of state and government recognition.

@BrunoParga

"They all recognize each other because they all assume obligations towards each other. It is only treaties that are open for anyone to sign – where "anyone" usually means "any UN member state" – that do not imply everyone recognizes everyone else."

I'm looking for a source or sources that support this part

@JoshuaWilkes I don't really get what you mean, sorry - my clarification chops are failing me here. If you have a specific question I may try to answer - or maybe try to formulate a specific objection and I can try to show you whether it holds or not.

Maybe it helps if I clarify that recognition is a sovereign prerogative and as such can only happen due to a clear manifestation of a state's will, which cannot possibly be claimed in the context of a treaty open for signature/accession?

@BrunoParga I'm specifically asking you to provide a source from international treaty or from academic literature that states that bilateral treaties either create recognition or can only be signed with it.

In other words, to support this part: "they all recognize each other because they all assume obligations towards each other"

@JoshuaWilkes okay, the search query you're looking for is "implicit state recognition". That should put you on the right path.

Come on dude.

@BrunoParga I'm in a conversation with you where you are making an assertion. You can answer or not but if you want to continue in good faith I'm going to ask you to do the googling you think needs to be done yourself.

@JoshuaWilkes come on dude what? I'm giving you my professional opinion - I'm a former diplomat. I won't Google this concept for you, you can do it yourself.

I'll be thrilled to hear of any counterexamples you might find, of cases where a treaty does not imply recognition.

But I don't owe you even the already very decent explanation I've given you, let alone more than that. Implicit recognition is possible, whether you understand it or not, whether you like it or not. I hope you can make peace with that fact.

@JoshuaWilkes or if you want me to perform specialized labor for you, I'd be glad to do it for mana. I think M5,000 is a reasonable rate for one hour's worth of research.

@BrunoParga Was this a treaty between the Colombian government and FARC? https://hir.harvard.edu/peace-and-pesos/

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