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UAE To Wind Up Somalia Military Training Program

UAE To Wind Up Somalia Military Training Program”

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made a decision to end its military training program in Somalia, following the seizure of almost 10 million dollars from a UAE Royal Jet by the Somali government last week.

The Somali foreign ministry said it has received a satisfactory response regarding the money seized on April 8 at Mogadishu airport. A Somali security ministry statement at the time said the bags were full of undeclared United States dollars and an investigation is under way.

"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 a government statement carried by the UAE's state news agency, Wam. The UAE has been working with an anti-piracy force in Puntland and paid the salaries of 2,407 Somali soldiers.

The UAE has trained thousands of Somali soldiers in the mission it began in 2014, which both helped the conflict-ravaged nation rebuild after decades of chaos and give Emirati soldiers more experience overseas.

The UAE, which has been supporting the Horn of Africa nation for years as part of its stabilization efforts, said the money was meant to pay the salaries of Somalia National Army (SNA) soldiers and trainers.

"The ministry said Somalia welcomes foreign direct investment because prosperity and economic growth will help unite the nation", the statement added.

The statement said: "The UAE has expressed its denunciation of the seizure incident which flies in the face of diplomatic traditions and ties between world countries and contravenes the agreements signed by both countries".

The UAE has since condemned the seizure, terming it illegal and a breach of diplomatic protocol, and accusing the Somali government of creating "unnecessary tension".

Analysts say Somalia's relations with UAE are strained by a dispute between Qatar and Saudi because Mogadishu has refused to take sides.

Last month as the UAE reached a military agreement with Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia seeking to break away from the mainland, Mogadishu censured the agreement as violation of global law, which further strained the relations.



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