Keep off Somalia, EU Parliament lambastes UAE

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The European Union has denounced the United Arab Emirates demanding it ends with immediate effect ‘acts of destabilisation’ in Somalia making it the foremost global body to reign in on the Gulf nation a year on into the Gulf Crisis.

In a resolution Thursday, the EU Parliament said it was deeply concerned by UAE’s actions in Somalia amid diplomatic fall out between Abu Dhabi and Mogadishu which led to cancellation of military assistance by the Gulf nation. The two countries have also bitterly feuded over the Berbera Port concession in the breakaway region of Somalia which Mogadishu has dismissed as illegal and sought the intervention of the Arab League and the UN Security Council. Both bodies fell short of any statement against the Emirati regime.

“[The EU Parliament] urges the UAE to cease forthwith all acts of destabilisation in Somalia and respect Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the resolution read in part.

The legislative body also took a swipe against the Saudi-led axis in the Gulf Crisis for what it termed as ‘punishing’ Somalia for taking a neutral stance in the one year long row by denying it budgetary support.

“The EU Parliament] expresses concern about certain foreign interests that further complicate the political landscape; notes, in terms of the wider confrontation between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, on the one hand, and Qatar, on the other, that the Federal Government of Somalia has, in its attempt to remain neutral, been deprived of regular budgetary support payments by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which further weakens the government’s ability to pay the security forces.”

Saudi Arabia which has traditionally injected support to Somalia’s national budget last year cut to zero its contributions. The Federal Government however factored in a $32 million injection from the Saudi government in the 2018 national budget. UAE did not feature last year and the case is the same for this year while Qatar maintained a $10 million contribution last year and this year. 

The military support cut by UAE early this year meant that Somalia would have to explore other revenue sources to meet the budgetary needs of 2,407 soldiers who were under UAE funded programme.

RBB News

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