So­ma­lia ends UAE pact

The East African - - NEWS - By Vic­tor Kiprop Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

SO­MA­LIA MAY soon be look­ing for a new strate­gic part­ner to sup­port its mil­i­tary, af­ter it ter­mi­nated a mil­i­tary train­ing and fund­ing deal with the United Arab Emi­rates.

Mo­gadishu said on Wed­nes­day that it was dis­con­tin­u­ing a UAE pro­gramme to train and pay salaries to some of its troops, as a row sim­mered over So­ma­lia’s seizure of $9.6 mil­lion from the UAE at the Mo­gadishu Air­port on April 8.

“So­ma­lia will take over its troops trained by the UAE. Those forces will be added to the var­i­ous bat­tal­ions of the So­ma­lia Na­tional Army,” So­ma­lia’s De­fence Min­is­ter Mo­hamed Mur­sal told Jour­nal­ists in Mo­gadishu, shortly af­ter the UAE termed the seizure of the cash as “il­le­gal.”

So­mali said it seized the cash on Sun­day af­ter the UAE am­bas­sador re­fused to let the bags be scanned, but the UAE said the money was meant to sup­port the So­ma­lia mil­i­tary and the seizure was a “se­ri­ous breach” of a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing signed by the two states in 2014.

“The UAE de­plores this vi­o­la­tion of in­ter­na­tional law and norms at a time when the UAE has pro­vided all kinds of po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, mil­i­tary and hu­man­i­tar­ian sup­port in the dark­est con­di­tions to es­tab­lish se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity in So­ma­lia,” the UAE said.

Since 2014, the UAE has been train­ing and pay­ing salaries to hun­dreds of So­mali mil­i­tary to sup­ple­ment ef­forts by African Union, the UN, US and other part­ners as the coun­try fights Al Shabaab, but re­la­tions be­tween the two na­tions have been strain­ing in re­cent months due to a spillover of Arab world pol­i­tics.

Since 2017, So­mali has re­jected pres­sure From the UAE and Saudi Ara­bia to have it cut ties with Qatar, which is ac­cused of sup­port­ing ter­ror­ism in the near year-old gulf diplo­matic cri­sis.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.