The Somali government has made a grave mistake by revoking the signed agreements with the UAE, where it made cheap moves driven by a hateful regional party. This government has not realized that this behavior has placed its country in an awkward position which only reflects primitive groups’ behavior rather than a respected country. States do not break agreements or act in accordance with its mood or upon the will of other parties.
The wise Somali elite realize that their country’s long-term interest requires maintaining friendly relations with the UAE and with every country interested in supporting stability and reviving the Somalian economy, especially as we are talking about a little-resource country torn by war for decades and is looking for a way to extend security and to put an end to the last extremism pockets and to deal with the fanatic social incubator. However, the lack of wisdom, ill will and the desire to exploit the Somali official position, pushed some parties in the Somali government last week to carry out actions that would harm the UAE-Somali relationship, although the Somali side is the beneficiary of this relationship economically and logistically. The UAE has always stood to support the peace and stability process and pushed the Somalis to pay attention towards building their prosperous future. However, the surprise and shocking conduct against members of the UAE duty forces at Mogadishu airport recently was not appropriate and does not commensurate with the efforts and assistance provided by the UAE.
The behavior of the Somali government reflects the continued control of the pre-state conduct among those who make such foolish decisions. What happened at Mogadishu airport on April 8 of the detention of a private civil aircraft registered in the UAE is unjustified. The UAE has always had its hands extended generously towards the Somali people. The scenario of revoking and ignoring bilateral agreements between the two countries continued when the Somali authorities seized funds allocated to support the Somali army and to pay the salaries of trainees at gunpoint. This unfortunate and unjustified political, diplomatic and security situation also witnessed some members of the Somali security forces attacking members of the Emirati forces on board of the detained plane, who were on a training mission related to military cooperation agreed between the two countries since 2014.
Malignant Qatari touches have appeared on the scene at Mogadishu airport and in the pre-preparation to film it and turning it into a heroic event, although the betrayal of the conventions falls within the wrongful acts in which states should not fall if they have already passed the barbaric primitive and demagogic stage. For those who do not know, the undertaken efforts by the UAE in the support package for Somalia are officially based on the memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries in November 2014, which includes the enhancement of military cooperation between the two countries. However, the recent action by the Somali authorities reflects Mogadishu’s desire to transcend the tradition of bilateral relations between nations and expresses a tendency to put Somali politics at the bid of regional machinations and deals based of exporting extremism and building suspicious alliances.
The Qatari dubious role in encouraging and sponsoring the Somali barbaric and illegal behavior has appeared through the handling of the incident by the Qatari media, which sought to amplify the event, keep airing it and making it the most important event of the week in social media. While for others, there have been different opinion based on putting the facts before the public. When we talk about the relations between the UAE and Somalia, there is no doubt that the most advantageous side is Somalia. We do not need to remind of the UAE’s contribution to help the Somali people during the period of famine that swept through the Somali territories, as well as sponsoring and holding several conferences dedicated to the permanent supporters, and the contributions of the UAE among the donor countries in order to support Somalia and to take it out of its ordeal and out of the stereotype image that the international community have about it, who for years have viewed Somalia as a starting point for maritime piracy groups.
The UAE continued to stand by Somalia in its various crises, it was agreed to provide military support to the Somali forces, including armaments and training. On the economic side, the UAE became the largest trading partner of Somalia. In the end, however, the Somali authority has chosen to play on contradictions and betraying agreements. The funny thing is that Mogadishu has turned the arrival of part of the supporting fund to train its army into a paid play!
Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre
17 April 2018