Somalia ends UAE pact
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.