Ethiopia is launching a probe to find out how a map of Africa on its official website had incorporated neighboring Somalia within its own borders.
“An investigation into who and how the wrong map appeared on our webpage is underway,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nebiat Getachew said at a press conference on Tuesday.
He also apologized to the Somalian government.
"We sincerely regret any confusion and misunderstanding this incident might have caused. We have taken out the wrong map immediately,” he said.
The minister assured that necessary measures would be taken to find out the person responsible for posting of this map. It is still a mystery how the map found its way into the webpage of the ministry.
The map had completely erased Somalia but had depicted a self-declared territory of Somaliland - which is not internationally recognized. The issue had the potential to snowball into a major controversy between the two nations having a history of tense relations in the past.
Ties between Ethiopia and Somalia have thawed after Ethiopia’s reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assumed office in April last year.
In 2006 Ethiopia’s army had crossed over the Somalian border to drive out al- Shabaab militants from power. While Ethiopia withdrew its troops in 2009, it continued to remain part of the African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia.
Two countries have fought wars in 1964 and 1977, over Ethiopia's Somali-inhabited Ogaden region. A peace accord was signed in 1988. But three years later Somalia descended into a civil war.