UAE ends program to train Somalia’s military

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is ending a military training program in Somalia in response to the seizure of millions of dollars and the temporary holding of a UAE plane by Somali security forces last week.

The UAE has trained hundreds of troops since 2014 as part of an effort boosted by an African Union military mission to defeat an Islamist insurgency and secure the country for the government backed by Western nations, Turkey and the United Nations.

Analysts say Somalia’s relations with UAE are strained by a dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia because Mogadishu has refused to take sides. Arab states have strong trading links with and influence in Somalia, but that is offset by the sway of Qatar and its ally Turkey, one of Somalia’s biggest foreign investors.

A government statement on Sunday followed a similar announcement by Somalia on April 11, in which Mogadishu said it will take over paying and training the soldiers in the program.

“The UAE has decided to disband its military training program in Somalia which started in 2014 to build the capabilities of the Somali army,” said the statement on the UAE’s state news agency WAM.

About $9.6 million in cash was taken from the UAE plane on April 8, Somali police and government sources had said. The UAE said the money was to pay for salaries for Somali soldiers as part of an agreement between the two countries.

The statement said a seizure incident contravened agreements signed by both countries.

The money seized by Somali authorities were meant to pay for salaries of Somali soldiers, says UAE news agency It said the UAE is supervising a counter-piracy maritime police force in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland.

The UAE is also building a military base in Somaliland, another semi-autonomous region of Somalia.

In this Sunday, April 1, 2018 photo, workers stand in front of shipping containers at the Port of Berbera, run by DP World, which is majority-owned by the Dubai government in the UAE, in Berbera, Somaliland, Somalia. The breakaway northern region of Somaliland declared its independence nearly three decades ago, but despite having its own currency, parliament and military the predominantly Muslim country hasn’t been recognized by any foreign government. President Muse Bihi Abdi is hoping to change that by aligning his country’s interests with energy-rich Gulf Arab states eager to expand their military footprint in the Horn of Africa. (AP Photo/Malak Harb)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*