Somaliland parliament approves UAE military base (IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly)

 

 

Somaliland parliament approves UAE military base

14 February 2017

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) request to establish a military base in the northern Somali city of Berbera was approved by an overwhelming majority in the parliament of the Somaliland separatist region on 12 February, local media reported.

Few details about the UAE’s request have been released other than that it wants a naval presence in Berbera’s port and an air force presence at its airport, which was originally built by the Soviet Union in the 1970s.

The UAE already has a similar arrangement with Eritrea that allows its military to use the port and airport at Assab, 375 km to the northwest of Berbera, which it is using to support its military intervention in Yemen.

Somaliland agrees to UAE naval base in northern port

 

 

http://www.thenational.ae/world/africa/somaliland-agrees-to-uae-naval-base-in-northern-port

Somaliland agrees to UAE naval base in northern port

MOGADISHU // Somaliland, the breakaway northern region of Somalia, on Sunday approved the establishment of a UAE naval base on the coast of the Gulf of Aden.

The UAE submitted a formal application last month for permission from the Somaliland government to open the base in the port of Berbera, about 250 kilometres south across the Gulf from Aden in Yemen.

Somaliland parliament’s voted overwhelmingly in favour of the base, which president Ahmed Silanyo said would benefit the territory and help create jobs.

However, the plan has been opposed by the neighbouring countries of Ethiopia and Djibouti, according to local reports.

In Sunday’s vote 144 legislators supported the military base, two voted against and two abstained. Nine others opposed to the base shouted against Mr Silanyo and were led out of the chamber by soldiers.

The plan for the military base follows a multimillion dollar, 30-year contract for the UAE ports operator DP World to manage Berbera port, Somaliland’s largest.

The former British protectorate declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 and has succeeded in establishing peace and stability. But no country has so far recognised it as an independent state.

* Associated Press

SOURCE:  THE NATIONAL

UAE seeks to open military base in Somaliland

https://www.alleastafrica.com/2017/01/11/uae-seeks-to-open-military-base-in-somaliland/

UAE seeks to open military base in Somaliland

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UAE continues to pursue a coordinated soft-power strategy throughout its sphere of influence, using political, economic, and military tools to promote its agenda in Somaliland at the expense of neighboring countries

By Judy Maina and Jamal Ibrahim, jamal@alleastafrica.com

HARGEISA – The United Arab Emirates is seeking a formal permission from the government of the breakaway northern Somalia republic of Somaliland to establish a military base in the region, reflecting its growing ambition to assert itself in the horn of Africa region.

Having failed to win over Turkey, a long time strategic rival in Somalia, the UAE government had long sought an alternative base, picking Somaliland as its key base.  UAE had also signed a 30-year contract with Somaliland to manage its largest port, Berbera.

Berbera port
Berbera port

Berbera’s management by UAE is also parts of retaliatory measures against Djibouti which annulled the Dubai-based ports operator DP World’s terminal contract followed by arbitration proceedings by the Djiboutian government over alleged corruption by the company.

“It’s true that the UAE has submitted a formal request seeking for a permission to open a military base in Somaliland.” said Sa’ad Ali Shire, Somaliland’s foreign minister told reporters in Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital Wednesday.

The move would likely enrage Ethiopia, a major ally for Somaliland which is the only country that opened an embassy in Somaliland. Other countries that have relations with Somaliland have merely maintained consular missions in the enclave.

Ethiopia also assists Somaliland in maintaining security in Somaliland, a region often considering an oasis of peace in the volatile region.

“We don’t want to lose relations with both our partners Ethiopia and UAE, thus this is a worrying development and the issue of granting permission for the military base will be decided by both the president and the parliament.” He said.

Meanwhile, economists warned that Somaliland’s close relations with UAE would hurt its relations with neighboring countries including Ethiopia and Djibouti that maintained warm relations with the breakaway republic before it moved to establish economic relations with the United Arab Emirates.

According to officials, Djibouti’s government has repeatedly warned Somaliland leaders over their decisions to embrace UAE as a closer ally, by allowing UAE to maximize its strategic interests in the untapped horn of Africa market.

(Judy Maina reported from Nairobi, editing by John Thiongo: john@alleastafrica.com)

Copyright © 2016 Alleastafrica.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Alleastafrica.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Alleastafrica.com

Somaliland approves UAE military base on its territory ( Anadolu Agency)

 

 

http://aa.com.tr/en/africa/somaliland-approves-uae-military-base-on-its-territory/748941

Somaliland approves UAE military base on its territory

Somaliland parliament’s approval will make it possible for the UAE to establish a military base in the port town of Berbera

Somaliland approves UAE military base on its territory

 

The parliament of Somalia’s breakaway northern region of Somaliland approved an agreement between Somaliland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) allowing the Emirati government to establish a military base in the port town of Berbera on Sunday.

In Sunday’s vote, 144 Somaliland lawmakers voted in favor of the military base and two voted against. Two others abstained. Nine lawmakers opposed to the base shouted words against Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo and were taken out of the chamber by Somaliland soldiers.

The vote will allow the Somaliland administration to complete negotiations with the UAE to build its first military base in Africa. The agreement was signed by Somaliland and the UAE in 2015 and it is a 30 years deal.

Speaking at the parliament on Sunday, Somaliland President Ahmed Silanyo said that the military base would benefit the people of Somaliland and create jobs.

According to the local media, Somaliland’s neighboring countries Ethiopia and Djibouti opposed the deal.

Somaliland is a former British protectorate and declared its own independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991. Somaliland has not been recognized by any country in the world to date.

*Reporting by Mohammed Dhaysane; Writing by Sorwar Alam


SOURCE:© Anadolu Agency 2017

UAE to open second military base in east Africa (http://www.middleeasteye.net)

 

 

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/uae-eyes-military-expansion-eastern-africa-2028510672

UAE to open second military base in east Africa

#Business

Somaliland would be the second military base after the UAE facility in Eritrea, which has been used against the Houthis in Yemen

Ships being loaded in the port of Berbera, Somaliland in December 2015 (AFP)
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Last update:
Monday 13 February 2017 16:15 UTC
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The United Arab Emirates is going to set up a second military base in the Horn of Africa, sparking concern among some governments in the region.

The Somaliland parliament approved the deal for the northern port of Berbera on Sunday, with 144 lawmakers voting for, two against and two abstentions.

Under the 30-year deal, the Emirati government will have exclusive rights to Somaliland’s largest port and manage and oversee operational activities.

DP World, the UAE’s ports operator company, will supervise the port, which will gain a naval base as well as an air base. The lease of the port is contingent on the $442 million deal with DP World.

In return, Somaliland will get investment as well as international recognition: no other country has yet recognised the breakaway territory – which separated itself from the rest of Somalia in 1993 – as an “independent state”.

The Emirati port operator will manage the operational activities, but there’s no official word on the time it will take for the military base to become fully operational.
UAE’s military is considered a formidable force in Africa, particularly after the establishment of its military base at Assab in Eritrea in 2015.

The Eritrean base has been used by the UAE in the Yemen war against the Houthis. It is not known whether the facility at Berbera will have a similar purpose.

Osman Abdillahi, minister of information and national guidance, told Somaliland Press, the country’s official news agency, that the “UAE military base will bring investment which will open the flood gates for countries to recognise Somaliland.”

Abu Dhabi is reaching out to countries in and around the Horn of Africa, as it looks to increase its non-oil revenue through other avenues including real estate, trade and financial services.

Abdillahi said: “The Berbera to Wajale highway will cost about $230-300 million, not forgetting the creations of thousands of jobs for our people, which will alleviate the endemic joblessness that has incapacitated our people.”

It is significant because the UAE will be engaging in trade across the port, and for this, it would require a sustainable road network across Berbera. Hence, as the minister said, it will create opportunities for the local people on infrastructure development.

Tension with Ethiopia

But the Somaliland deal has angered Ethiopia, one of the regional powers in the Horn of Africa, which itself has economic ties with the UAE.

As recently as last year, the UAE and Ethiopia signed several investment deals, under the terms of which the UAE is legally bound to protect the economic interests of Ethiopia.

Last January, Ethiopia’s prime minister rebuked the UAE government for having established the base in Eritrea.

Hailemariam Desalegn said: “We have also stressed that they will bear the consequences of our response if their operation in the area supports the Eritrean regime’s destabilisation agenda against Ethiopia.”

There is still tension between the two east African nations after they fought a war from May 1998 to June 2000.

 

 

 

SOURCE:(www.middleeasteye.net)

 

Somaliland Approves Naval, Air Base Deal with UAE (voa)

 

Somaliland Approves Naval, Air Base Deal with UAE

http://www.voanews.com/a/somaliland-approves-naval-air-base-deal-with-uae/3720287.html

 


FILE - A ship docks at the port in Berbera, Somaliland, May 17, 2015.

FILE – A ship docks at the port in Berbera, Somaliland, May 17, 2015.

The parliament of the break-away republic of Somaliland has overwhelming approved a deal to allow the United Arab Emirates to establish an air and naval base in the port town of Berbera.

Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo presented the motion on Sunday to a joint session by both houses of the parliament, saying “it will attract investments, and it will not bring any harm to Somaliland or the region.”

A number of lawmakers angrily opposed the motion and shouted against the president before they were removed form parliament. The motion then passed with the support of 144 out of 151 lawmakers.

If signed, the deal gives the UAE a strong military foothold in the Horn of Africa.

The UAE had already secured a military base in the port of Assab in Eritrea. Observers say UAE plans to have a long-term military bases to monitor naval traffics in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea.

Somaliland’s Aviation Minister Farhan Adan Haybe said the deal is valid for 25 years, and after it expires the Somaliland government will “own the military base and all the investments made by UAE.”

“The base is on a lease, it can’t be used any other nation except the UAE and can’t be sub-leased,” the minister said.

FILE - Small boats and old wrecked ships litter the harbor of Berbera, Somaliland, Aug. 16, 2016. (J. Patinkin/VOA)

FILE – Small boats and old wrecked ships litter the harbor of Berbera, Somaliland, Aug. 16, 2016. ((J. Patinkin/VOA)

In return the UAE has agreed to implement in Somaliland various development projects, including modernizing highways.

The deal follows a $442-million agreement with a Dubai-based Company (DP World) to upgrade the port of Berbera. The deal signed in September will transform Berbera port into a major Red Sea shipping stop.

The UAE government is among various countries assisting Somalia’s regional administrations in their fight against al-Shabab militants.

Somaliland declared its independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991, but no country has so far recognized its independence bid.

SOURCE:VOA

Somaliland asks US for exemption to Trump’s travel ban By Associated Press February 14 at 1:11 PM

Somaliland asks US for exemption to Trump’s travel ban

February 14 at 1:11 PM
MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somalia’s breakaway northern territory of Somaliland is asking the United States for an exemption to President Donald Trump’s executive order on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations.

Somalia is one of the affected countries, but Somaliland considers itself an independent state after breaking away in 1991. It continues to seek international recognition for its claim.

A statement by Somaliland’s foreign affairs minister, Saad Ali Shire, says the republic wrote a letter Monday to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly requesting the exemption to the travel ban.

The statement says Somaliland argued it “has not experienced the emergence of terrorist organizations,” in contrast to Somalia, where homegrown extremist group al-Shabab continues to carry out deadly attacks.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Somaliland agrees to UAE military base in northern port www.alarabiya.net

 

Somaliland agrees to UAE military base in northern port

An United Arab Emirates navy ship docks at a naval base in Fujairah on the east coast of the country (File Photo: AFP/WAM)

Somalia’s breakaway northern territory of Somaliland has said the UAE can establish a military base in its territory.

The UAE government in January submitted a formal application seeking permission from the Somaliland government to open a military base in the port town of Berbera.

The parliament of Somaliland on Sunday approved the UAE plan. The plan is controversial and the neighboring countries of Ethiopia and Djibouti are opposed to it, according to local reports.

In Sunday’s vote 144 lawmakers were in favor of the military base, two voted against and two abstained. Nine others opposed to the base shouted against President Ahmed Silanyo and were led out of the chamber by soldiers.

Silanyo had spoken in favor of the base, saying it would create jobs in Somaliland.

The plan follows a multimillion dollar, 30-year contract for UAE’s international ports operator, DP World, to manage Somaliland’s largest port, Berbera.

The former British protectorate of Somaliland declared a unilateral independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 and has succeeded in establishing peace and stability. But no country has so far recognized it as an independent state.
Source:alarabiya

Last Update: Sunday, 12 February 2017 KSA 19:02 – GMT 16:02

Somaliland agrees to UAE military base in Berbera bbc.com/news/world-africa

 

 

Somaliland agrees to UAE military base in Berbera

  • 13 February 2017
  • From the section Africa

Why Somaliland? By Tomi Oladipo, BBC Monitoring Africa security correspondent

 

The Emiratis will also provide much-needed training and equipment for Somaliland forces

 

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Image copyright AFP
Image caption The naval base will be used to fight Houthi fighters in Yemen

MPs in the self-declared republic of Somaliland have agreed to allow the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to set up a military base in the port of Berbera.

Observers say the deal has proved controversial among Somaliland’s neighbours in the Horn of Africa.

The UAE already has a military facility at Eritrea’s Assab port for use in a campaign against Yemeni rebels.

It is part of a coalition that has fought Houthi rebels and imposed a naval blockade on Yemen since 2015.

More than 10,000 people have been killed and 40,000 wounded since then, according to the UN.

Somaliland’s President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo told MPs the military base would help create jobs, the Associated Press agency reports.

During the parliamentary vote, 144 legislators supported the military base, two voted against, two abstained – and nine others who opposed the plan and shouted in the chamber were escorted out by soldiers.

Last year, Somaliland, which declared itself independent from the rest of Somalia in 1991, signed a $442m (£353m) deal for a Dubai-based firm to upgrade the port of Berbera, which mainly exports livestock to the Middle East.


Why Somaliland? By Tomi Oladipo, BBC Monitoring Africa security correspondent

The Horn of Africa is strategic for Gulf nations because of ongoing military operations in Yemen and in the long term to protect their shipping interests in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Djibouti has been the regional hub for foreign military bases, but now faces competition from its next-door neighbour.

In Somaliland, the UAE has an alternative and less controversial location for a military base than Eritrea, which is under UN sanctions.

The Emiratis will also provide much-needed training and equipment for Somaliland forces. The threat posed by militant Islamist group al-Shabab in Somalia has been largely kept at bay in the breakaway region – having a stronger local force backed by an international partner will shore up this stability.

Its port in Berbera is not solely for military use. Its expansion could provide Somaliland with more robust economic opportunities, particularly targeting its landlocked neighbour Ethiopia.

But as Somaliland is not internationally recognised, the authorities will need to be wary of any legal complications that could arise, given the UN-backed government of Somalia was not party to the base or expansion of Berbera.


Yemen, across the Gulf of Aden from Somaliland, spiralled into civil war in 2014 when Houthi rebels overran the capital.

The Saudi-led coalition has since deployed warships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

It says the naval operation is to stop the Houthis receiving weapons from Iran, which backs the rebels but denies providing military support.

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Somaliland Agrees to UAE Military Base in Northern Port

 

 

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/somaliland-agrees-uae-military-base-northern-port-45437664

Somaliland Agrees to UAE Military Base in Northern Port

Somalia’s breakaway northern territory of Somaliland has said the United Arab Emirates can establish a military base in its territory.

The Emirati government in January submitted a formal application seeking permission from the Somaliland government to open a military base in the port town of Berbera.

The parliament of Somaliland on Sunday approved the UAE plan. The plan is controversial and the neighboring countries of Ethiopia and Djibouti are opposed to it, according to local reports.

In Sunday’s vote 144 lawmakers were in favor of the military base, two voted against and two abstained. Nine others opposed to the base shouted against President Ahmed Silanyo and were led out of the chamber by soldiers. Silanyo had spoken in favor of the base, saying it would create jobs in Somaliland.

The UAE government is planning to establish a naval base with warships that would be used to attack Shia Houthi fighters fighting the government in Yemen, according to a Somaliland official who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press.

Speaking at the parliament session, Somaliland’s president said that the military base would benefit Somaliland most and help create jobs.

The plan follows a multimillion dollar, 30-year contract for UAE’s international ports operator, DP World, to manage Somaliland’s largest port, Berbera.

The former British protectorate of Somaliland declared a unilateral independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 and has succeeded in establishing peace and stability. But no country has so far recognized it as an independent state.

 Source:abc news