UAE disbands military training in Somalia after $10m seized
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.