UAE dis­bands mil­i­tary train­ing in Somalia af­ter $10m seized

The National - News - - NEWS - THE NA­TIONAL

The UAE has ended its mil­i­tary train­ing pro­gramme in Somalia af­ter the seizure last week of mil­lions of dol­lars and the tem­po­rary hold­ing of an Emi­rati air­craft by So­mali se­cu­rity forces.

“The UAE has de­cided to dis­band its mil­i­tary train­ing pro­gramme in Somalia,” state news agency Wam re­ported.

The state­ment fol­lowed a sim­i­lar an­nounce­ment by Somalia on April 11, in which Mo­gadishu said it would take over pay­ing and train­ing the sol­diers in the pro­gramme.

Since 2014, the UAE has car­ried out train­ing mis­sions in­volv­ing thou­sands of So­ma­lis, Wam said, as well as pay­ing the salaries of 2,407 So­mali troops, build­ing a hos­pi­tal and three train­ing cen­tres.

On April 8, about $9.6m (Dh35.25m) in cash was taken from the UAE plane at Mo­gadishu air­port, So­mali po­lice said. Forty-seven UAE Armed Forces per­son­nel were on board, and some were held at gun­point. The UAE said the money was to pay for the salaries of So­mali sol­diers as part of an agree­ment be­tween the coun­tries.

The UAE is su­per­vis­ing the counter-piracy mar­itime po­lice force in Punt­land, where the coun­try has been sup­port­ing ef­forts to fight ter­ror­ism in col­lab­o­ra­tion with in­ter­na­tional par­ties and the African Union’s forces in Somalia.

Dr An­war Gar­gash, Min­is­ter of State for For­eign Af­fairs, said last week that Somalia had cre­ated “un­nec­es­sary ten­sion” af­ter seiz­ing the money.

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