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Somalia Turkey maritime deal is a win for both countries and not a power play for the horn of Africa

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The recent defence pact between Somalia and Turkey marks a significant step for regional security, focusing on land and maritime cooperation to bolster Somalia's defence capabilities.While it symbolizes a move towards enhanced partnership, its immediate implications should be tempered.

Turkey's motivations lie in solidifying its role as a key security ally in sub-Saharan Africa, aiming to elevate its stature internationally and domestically. With plans to extend maritime training and potentially provide arms to Somalia, Turkey seeks to broaden its influence while aiding Somalia in projecting force in its territorial waters.

For Somalia, hampered by limited capacity to police its maritime territories, the agreement offers a pathway to enhance its defence capabilities. By partnering with Turkey, Mogadishu aims to address challenges such as illegal fishing and piracy, ultimately asserting its authority over its territorial waters.

Despite its significance, the pact's impact may be constrained by its limited scope and capabilities offered. It does not signal the onset of broader regional alliances, despite recent diplomatic shifts such as the Ethiopia-Somaliland deal. Instead, it underscores the pursuit of national interests by regional actors.

The agreement reflects the evolving dynamics of regional engagement, driven by Somalia, Ethiopia, and Somaliland's pursuit of territorial sovereignty. While Turkey's involvement is primarily opportunistic, focusing on short-term gains, it aligns with Somalia's objectives of bolstering its defence capacities.

Foreseeing a gradual realization of its strategic value, the pact emphasizes the long-term nature of regional security developments, devoid of immediate confrontational scenarios. Thus, while symbolically significant, the agreement represents one among many steps towards potential strategic outcomes in the distant future.

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Source: The Conversation