UAE disbands military training programme in Somalia following seizure of $10 million

Galtero Lara
Abril 17, 2018

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has chose to halt a military training program in Somalia following the seizure of millions of dollars by Somali security forces in a UAE plane.

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.

Relations between Somalia and the UAE have been strained over the ongoing diplomatic crisis engulfing Qatar.

WAM said the UAE has been paying the wages of 2,407 soldiers in addition to building training centres and a hospital.

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But tensions between the countries hit a high on April 8, when the UAE said Somali soldiers boarded an Emirati plane at the Mogadishu airport, assaulted its soldiers at gunpoint and confiscated 9.6 million dollars.

"The UAE has made a decision to disband its military training programme 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. The UAE denounced the seizure of the money, which it said was destined to pay the soldiers.

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

The Emirates are supervising the counter-piracy maritime police force in Puntland where the country has been supporting efforts to fight terrorism in collaboration with a number of worldwide parties and the African Union's forces in Somalia. The UAE also plans to open a military base there and has invited Somaliland officials to visit the Emirates.

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