Ethiopia’s foreign ministry has apologized to Somalia after a map of Africa which incorporated neighboring Somalia within its own borders appeared on its website.
The appeal was made through a statement.
The ministry added that it was unsure how the map had “crept in on the website”
The statement said thus:
“We sincerely regret any confusion and misunderstanding this incident might have caused”.
Somalia had been completely erased from the map. But the self-declared territory of Somaliland which is not internationally recognized was shown.
The neighbors have been rivals for long and fought border wars in the past. However, relations between the two countries have improved since Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, came to power last year and he sought to defuse tensions in the region.
Already, the map has caused uproar on social media. Consequently, the Somalis have said it reveals a wider plan by Ethiopia to annex their country.
Others hit back with their own version of a map of Africa, incorporating Ethiopia into Somalia.
There has been no official comment from the Somali government. But its Former Foreign Minister, Yusuf Garaad, welcomed the removal of the map and queried how and why it was drawn in the first place.
In response, the Ethiopian foreign ministry’s statement said it has no idea of how the unacceptable map had crept in on the website. Howbeit, he assured that the website is currently offline and their technical team was working to ensure its security.