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Ethiopia offers Britain land in exchange for Zeila port of Somaliland - 1946
Saturday, 04 February 2012 22:34

ZeilaZeilaAn important document found in the UK shows that Ethiopia offered Great Britain part of the Haud reserved area (Ogaden) in exchange for Zeila port of Somaliland to have access to the red sea in 1946. The document is dated August 6, 1946 and was sent to Sir Norman Brook, His Britannic Majesty's Government by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of State for Colonies.

Here is a summary that can be made of the correspondence:

1- The Ethiopians came up with a proposal that if a corridor to the sea , to the port of Zeila in British Somaliland, could be given to Ethiopia , they would in turn , be prepared to cede to British Somaliland part of the Ogaden in exchange . They said that Ethiopia was ready to convene a conference on Lake Tana and to have a Boundary Commission at once meet the British governments requirements in respect of the ratification of frontiers on the Kenya and Sudan borders which have been continuing source of trouble for many years.

2- That it would be helpful to consider the Ethiopian proposal for an exchange of territory in Bristish Somaliland since the Kenya and Sudan governments have little or nothing to offer in exchange for the ratification which they seek .

3- In respect of of British Somaliland , the Ethiopian proposals offer good prospects of meeting , to a very considerable extent , the long standing requirement of the British Somali tribes for free and undisturbed access to grazing areas essential to their livelihood

4- We are anxious , now that the Ethiopian government have themselves moved in the matter, to seize the opportunity which may not recur, of rectifying the injustice done to the British Somali tribes by the treaty with Ethiopia in 1897 which left their grazing grounds on the Ethiopian side of the frontier. We therefore think it desirable to open negotiations on the general basis proposed by the Ethiopians without delay.

5- In addition to the interests of British Somaliland alone and our relations with Ethiopia , there are also certain extraneous factors to be taken into account . The first of these is the uncertain future of Italian Somaliland. The the territory which the Ethiopians have offered to Britain includes the only useful land communications between British and Italian Somaliland , and would be of considerable importance if , as a result of the eventual settlement of the Italian Colonies , Britain would find itself responsible for the Italian Somaliland.

6- French reactions have also to be taken into account , since French Somaliland lies on the other frontier of British Somaliland , and the proposed corridor would substitute Ethiopia for Great Britain as the neighbour of French Somaliland on this side. Moreover, the whole object of the Ethiopia's proposal is to obtain direct access to the sea ,thereby by-passing the French port of Dijibouti and the French controlled railway which leads to it and which at present is Ethiopia's main commercial outlet. It is therefore probable that the exchange of territory , if affected , would not be welcomed by the French.

This document is of 19 pages and is availabe for download. If you want to receive a copy, email Somaliland Sun at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



-5 # 2012-02-10 11:38
It is fake, made in Asmara.
+2 # Hasna 2012-02-10 14:11
very important document and would like to have of copy of it.
thank you and keep up your good job
+1 # Derege 2012-02-10 18:33
Excellent move by the Ethiopian diplomats. Smoaliland would get more fertile land and Ethiopia access to the sea, fair and square. Meles has to learn a lot from this.
Thanks for the information SomalilandSun.
+1 # Eric 2012-02-11 00:35
I have read your article regarding Ethiopia offers Britain land it was very interesting and would like to have a copy of the documents. Tks
0 # menz 2012-02-11 06:07
Somaliland had proved itself it can be a viable, even democratic state. the world will have no choice but to accept it as a full member of the community of nations. Somaliland ethiopia should have a defense security agreement. we should build a highway, railway and integrate our economy. If somaliland wants to join somalia ethiopia should never be in the way. Somalia will never be a big threat even if united as a nation0find oil. the greatest threat to ethiopia is warlords0chaos0 lawlessnes0reli gious extremism. so even if we support somalilands independence, we should also support it if it wishes to join their brothers some time in the future. Good will from a position of strength begets good will.
0 # Abdi 2012-02-11 16:26
Seeing is belief. Please display the document otherwise it could be an old somali oral history.
0 # Admin 2012-02-11 17:19
[quote name="Abdi"]See ing is belief. Please display the document otherwise it could be an old somali oral history.[0quote ]
Abdi we cannot publish without violating copyright laws. But can send it by email. Just send request at
+1 # 2012-02-22 01:00
Somali land people merit the the recognition their freedom. Their freedom should not be wasted .They have proved they could govern better than Eritrea or South Sudan or Zimbawe ,or forthat matter Libya
vote for Somali land . What matters is ;Somaliland , if reconised , could be a be a force of peace
0 # mohammed 2012-03-11 09:42
Very important document prove it land it belong to ogaden people that is the fact if we like it or not so let them have the ogaden haud land to ogadeinans.
0 # Harla 2012-03-12 10:16
With all the respect Ethiopian goverment must stop killing inncent Ogadenians. They have been denied the freedom of right,freedom of speech,freedom of edcation and freedom peace,freedom of selfdetermnatio n.I do not understand why the powerful nation is putting blind eye while ogadenians men women and children are genocide by the goverment that call it self democracy.Now there is evedence that ogaden belongs to ogadenians it is about time that the world do something about is every immportand document thank for bringinig out the fact to the people thank.
+1 # Abdirahman Ahmed 2012-03-25 16:49
Ascw all
Dear Salma
Greeting to you for expressing your opinion and raising always number of issues with significant national importance , that open doors for debate, and although I agree with you on some of the topics you raised yet, I have to strongly disagree with you on your view on the issue of Berbera Cement Factory, which both the national TV and HCT has partially supported one of the sides who were disputing, in a partial and unfair manner, as they did not allow the other part to show their opinion, the thing that abused the image of Somaliland free media .It believe, that you haven't got a glue about the reality of the problem, so it seems a blunder mistake to form an opinion on a topic which you haven’t gathered enough facts about it. Therefore, I would like to enlighten you with the following background information as a person following the matter from its beginning to the last:
0 # Abdirahman Ahmed 2012-03-25 16:50
[quote name="Abdirahma n Ahmed"]hh[0quot e]
• A business group called Berbera Cement Factory was given licence by the Somaliland government (Riale era), to build the factory and they gone a long way through with necessary arrangements including visiting different countries to find the best suitable machinery and cost.
• Dahabshiil group had approached the said company and asked to be allocated a share of50% of the project, but after compromise he was given a share of (30%).
• After the election and change of government, Berbera Cement Factory management approached the new government demanding from them to declare the value of the assets of the old cement, so as to compensate the government.
• At this stage, and while waiting reply form government, Dahabshiil brought a new licence from the president directly allowing him to build new cement on the same place, and he declared that he withdrawn from his share in Berbera Cement Factory.
• The minster of interior arrived Berbera and declared that he has an order from the president to hand over the site to Dahabshiil and will use force if necessary.
0 # Abdirahman Ahmed 2012-03-25 17:03
• At this point, a popular protest arouse by the local people, protesting the unfair and illegal approach of the government and also to show the strong opposition for the idea of two cement factories in one area which could risk the environment and health of the local people.
• While the problem is at its peak, Dahabshiil took another provoking step by building foundations on the whole area without obtaining any licence from the Berbera city council.
• Protests continued in Berbera and Mayor was asked to destroy the foundations set up by Dahabshiil as it is illegal and endangered the peace and stability in the area.
• Mayor of Berbera declared that Dahabshiil was not given permit and he destroyed foundations.
• The two minsters of interior and planning, held a meeting with all representatives of the area and management of Berbera Cement Factory and they have offered a settlement mentioning that only one cement factory can be built in area, and at the same time ordering that Dahabshiil to be given a land in another area.
0 # Abdirahman Ahmed 4 2012-03-25 17:06
• In view of the contradiction of the two minster’s decision, BCF management and local chiefs has met with the president and requested him to solve the problem in a fair way, based on building one factory in which shares to be distributed to all Somalilanders equally through the licence holders.
• Now the final decision is on the table of the president for the last ten days.
• On the other hand Dahabshiil did not respect to wait the response of the president and he continued fierce media campaign using both national TV and HCTV, in which he is trying to misguide and give a wrong picture to Somaliland public opinion

0 # Abdirahman Ahmed 4 2012-03-25 17:09
To conclude, I believe that Dahabshiil wants to be the new Xoosh of Somaliland by attempting to monopolise all economic sources utilizing the government power, and this is a very dangerous game, that could provoke peace and stability of Somaliland, which we all contributed for so long, particularly at this time, we all striving for recognition.
• I would advise Mr Dahabshiil to be wise enough and withdraw from this ill intentioned designs, because the money he gained was as a result of backing of all Somalianders, who used his service and also the government who stood with him when he was about to be banned, together with Al Baraka Company. Add to that Dahabshiil refused always to distribute shares in all his companies to citizens, unlike other similar groups such as Telesom and Qaran Express which are open to all. Furthermore, if Dahabshiil has plenty of liquidity why he doesn’t’ invest it in food industries, which the country is in desperate need of it, for instance he can plant wheat and maize in Beer area or he can set up pasta factory and many other countless projectors, instead of embattling to take role from other local licensed investors and embarrassing presidents image, who look like favouring him and abusing power.
At last I hope that our beloved president always to leave the matter to the concerned government agencies (ministries of commerce and ministry of planning) to do their work instead of indulging presidency in everything and if there is any dispute they can either decide it or refer it to judiciary for arbitration.
With best regards to all Somlailanders
+1 # Ambaw 2012-04-08 13:13
Its greediness of Ethiopian govt to plan such a proposal. The crazy Ethiopian govt always thinking crazy things, because with no cost it gave up its Assab ports to Eritrea. Its shameful for Meles Zenawi and his govt. to raise question in need of sea- port from Somaliland
+1 # Sauron 2012-05-28 01:52
pure and utter malicious ambition from the hasbeen habeshas, i think they committed great crimes against somalia and its people throughout history.

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