Somalia takes over UAE-run military base in Mogadishu
Somali troops have taken over a military base run by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Mogadishu, as bilateral relations between the two countries continue to deteriorate.
Somalia has ended all UAE support for its military programmes, insisting the government will provide the funding and training previously covered by the Middle East nation.
Somali troops take over UAE base
The military said on Monday it was implementing government orders to take over the base after UAE military staff had already departed, leaving behind almost all of the equipment previously being used at the base.
“We have taken over everything at this base. From now on the government will fund the training, pay and equip the soldiers trained here” Deputy Army Commander, Abdullahi Ali Anod told reporters at the base in Mogadishu.
The move comes after the UAE closed a hospital it was running in the capital, which provided free healthcare to hundreds of people every day – mostly the poor and displaced.
Relations between Somalia and the UAE fell apart earlier this month after Somali authorities seized almost $10 million worth of cash at Mogadishu airport, which was brought into the country by a UAE aircraft. However, souring tensions between the two allies goes further back – to October last year – when Somalia publicly announced it would remain neutral in the Gulf crisis.
Featured image: “Somali National Army Passout Parade 17” flickr photo by AMISOM Public Information https://flickr.com/photos/au_unistphotostream/7786584356 shared into the public domain using (CC0)