In yet another clear indication that the United States is warming up to Somaliland with interest in the port city of Berbera, a US Air Force plane over the weekend landed in the port city of the Horn of Africa nation for an undisclosed mission.
Reports emanating from Somaliland indicate the United States Air Force C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport plane landed in Berbera airport, the first military plane from the country to land at the base since it was upgraded and opened in June.
Sources close to Somaliland leadership indicate has approached President Muse Bihi Abdi through a third party for a potential alternative aid corridor to Djibouti.
While reports show no agreement has been reached, the US has previously indicated it was ready to work with Somaliland after it supported the newfound partnership between the East African nation and Taiwan last year against to the chagrin of Asian superpower China.
The United States is indicated is interested in using the Berbera airport and port. Both facilities have been recently upgraded to international standards.
Conflict in Ethiopia’s northern regions Tigray, Afar, and Amhara is also creating a potential chokepoint that may hamper humanitarian aid delivery to the people of Tigray through Djibouti. Most imports to Ethiopia come via this rail system.
Somaliland which remains unrecognized since parting with Somalia in May 1991, has operated as an independent state and a rare bastion of peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.
The country with its own government, military, police and currency has primed itself into a position where it can challenge Djibouti’s dominance as the region’s military and shipping hub.
The Horn of Africa is one of the most strategic regions on earth and Somaliland’s Port of Berbera will be able to mount a challenge against Djibouti’s dominance in the region as a hub for shipping and military bases for foreign countries.
Somaliland’s development is also tied to Ethiopia’s economic and population boom and the significant Chinese investment in that part of the Horn of Africa.