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Why Somalia presidential election is a litmus test for neighbouring  Ethiopia
Somali News

Why Somalia presidential election is a litmus test for neighbouring Ethiopia

The February 8 Presidential election in Somalia is expected to be a major test for neighbouring Ethiopia which is openly backing incumbent Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, analysts say.   Addis has closely been following the campaigns in its neighbor and has actively been involved in pushing for Mohamud return to Villa Somalia   This despite Ethiopia being a frontline state with multiple regional agreements prohibiting active interference in the politics of Somalia   Analyst say a Mohamud lose will be a big blow to Ethiopia´s interest in Somalia   In the last one month alone Mohamud is said to have travelled to Ethiopia five times the last one being a mediation with the then presidential candidate Sharif Hassan Adan   A pro Ethiopian government think tank last week released a report that clearly made known Addis interest in the coming election. It called for a Hawiye Presidency as the best recommendation to restore security in the country that has been marred by conflict for more than two decades   Ethiopia´s stand has had it rubbing shoulders the wrong way by some in the international community who have shown similar interest for   Radio Dalsan has learnt that a recent tell-conference  between the Emir of UAE Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Ethiopian Prime Minister HaileMariam Desalegn was marked by an argument by the two over the open backing of Mohamud by Addis. The gulf state is said to be backing Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmake   Analyst foresee a more open hands on political interference by Ethiopia if Mohamud retains the presidency   Somalia Ethiopia relations have had an up and down relation since the 1977 Zone 5 war . Ethiopia has the highest number of foreign troops in Somalia and its military presence has been in the neighbouring country since 2006 when it came to back the then Transitional Federal Government fight Islamic Courts Union