Shakir essa is digital media publisher and PR consultant who is currently consulting at Media allAfrica news, as a radio producer, media relations trainer and digital journalism trainer. He also works as a volunteer youth mentor and freelance …
Here are ten important things you need to know about the agreement.
The Government of the Republic of Somaliland has leased an undisclosed amount of land to the UAE in the northern part of Berbera city – close to the shores of the Gulf of Aden. The UAE will build their own port for the military base. All military equipment to arrive through the their port will be exempt from taxes.
The UAE’s military will have full access to Berbera International Airport.
The lease agreement between both countries is valid for 25 years – and will come into full effect when both governments officially sign the agreement. After 25 years, the military base and all investments made by the UAE will be taken over by the Government of the Republic of Somaliland.
The military base can not be used by any other country except the UAE and can not be sub-leased by either the Government of the Republic of Somaliland or the Government of the United Arab Emirates. The agreement also states that the military base can not be used for any other purpose outside of the agreement.
The UAE will implement the following projects in Somaliland: a modern highway between Berbera and the border town of Wajaale, a modern renovation of Berbera International Airport for civillian and cargo flights, and numerous social development projects (Education, Health, Energy & Water) for the citizens of Somaliland.
The UAE will provide job opportunities for Somaliland’s citizens during the 25-year stay. The UAE will also ease travel barriers for Somaliland’s citizens.
The UAE will provide full cooperation with the Republic Somaliland on matters relating to Somaliland’s national security. This includes: cooperation on protecting Somaliland’s waters from illegal activities at sea (piracy, waste dumping etc).
The UAE pledges to the respect the rights and independence of Somaliland’s citizens and promises to not conduct any activities that will put Somaliland’s national security at risk. The UAE also will also be fully responsible for preserving and protecting the current equipment and construction of Berbera International Airport.
The Government of the Republic of Somaliland is not responsible for any natural disaster that might affect the implementation and/or activities of the military base. In the event of a natural disaster, both governments will jointly provide necessary relief efforts.
In the event of a dispute, both governments will be given 30 days to resolve the dispute. If the dispute is not resolved within 30 days, the dispute will be arbitrated by the London Court International Arbitration (LCIA). Both Governments also have the absolute right seek a dissolution agreement. If one side does not want to dissolve the agreement, the case will be heard by the London Court of International Arbitration.
UAE to Train Somaliland Forces Under Military Base Deal:
ABU DHABI — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will train Somaliland security forces as part of a deal to establish a military base in the semi-autonomous region, Somaliland’s president said on Thursday.
UAE government officials could not immediately be reached for comment – but the UAE has committed to invest hundreds of million dollars in recent years in the territory on a strategically important stretch of coastline on the Gulf of Aden.
The UAE began construction last year of a base on a site at the airport of the Somaliland port city Berbera, and will be allowed to maintain a presence for 30 years. Berbera is less than 300 km (190 miles) south of war-torn Yemen, where UAE troops are fighting rebels as part of a Saudi-backed coalition.
President Muse Bihi Abdi said the UAE would train police and military in Somaliland, which wants independence from war-torn Somalia but is not recognized internationally. He said he expected the agreement to be finalised within two months
“They have the resources and the knowledge,” Abdi told Reuters in an interview in Abu Dhabi.
UAE has become more assertive in its foreign policy in recent years. The UAE Armed Forces have been fighting in the Yemen conflict since 2015 and in the past deployed in international operations including Kosovo and Afghanistan.
Abdi said the military base, which he expects will be completed this year, will guarantee economic development and security for Somaliland and act as a deterrent to extremist groups in the region.
Somaliland’s Foreign Minister, Saad Ali Shire, who was present during the interview, declined to disclose how many UAE soldiers would be stationed at the base.
Several regional powers have set up military bases along the Horn of Africa coastline, including Turkey in Somalia’s capital. The United States, China, Japan and France all have bases in neighboring Djibouti.
“It’s safer to have a lot of military in the area,” Abdi said.
Abdi said he hoped UAE investments, including a new civilian airport and a road connecting Berbera to landlocked Ethiopia, will lead to a “huge creation of employment” in Somaliland where unemployment is rampant.
“The biggest threat to Somaliland is poverty,” he said.
Dubai’s DP World is also developing Berbera port and building a free trade zone nearby.
This week, Somalia’s parliament voted to ban DP World from the country, an act that it said had nullified the agreement.
Abdi said the vote was a “joke” and a “political mistake” that would have no impact on the DP World agreement that includes the government of Ethiopia
Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 and has acted as a de-facto state since then..
Abdi also said he expected the UAE would make a hard currency deposit into Somaliland’s central bank but added that there had been no agreement between the two sides.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Maggie Fick and Andrew Heaven
I’ve taken ‘unrecognised’ to mean any country that is not recognised by every other country (which expands the list a bit).
Somaliland, recognised by no other state. Originally British Somaliland, it become independent and merged with Italian Somaliland in 1960. Later it declared independence in 1991 and withdrew from being part of Somalia.
UAE is required to send official invitations to all Arab countries for the Arab League summit, which will be held this year in Saudi Arabia,
United arab Emirates will recognize
For Somaliland as independent nation from Somalia,
The relatively stable Somaliland declared its independence in 1991 following the fall of the Siad Barre regime but has remained in a limbo with no recognition from the world nation’s
DUBAI– The United Arab Emirates has accepted citizens traveling with Somaliland passport can enter to it’s country and further allowed that the UAE can issue visas with Somaliland travel documents.
First, people who will be allowed to travel to the UAE are those holding Somaliland diplomatic passport in the first place. Second, business people are permitted to go the UAE with Somaliland passport. Third, anyone holding with Somaliland passport can travel to the UAE.
Reports confirm that this has been facilitated by FlyDubai airways which has recently started direct flights to Somaliland. This is an important diplomatic step taken in the right direction. The UAE has banned people traveling with Somali passport cannot enter into her country.
Citizens with Somaliland travel document can go to the following countries:-
1- South Africa
5- United Kingdom
6 – France
7- South Sudan
Somaliland is a broke away republic that seceded from Somalia in 1991 but it has not been recognized.
Turkey, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya have diplomatic office in Hargeisa.
600s Arab tribes establish the sultanate of Adel on the Gulf of Aden coast.
1500 – 1600 Portuguese traders land on the east coast of Africa and start intermittent power struggles with the Sultanate of Zanzibar for control of port cities and surrounding towns.
1840 The British East India Company signs treaties with the Sultan of Tajura for unrestricted trading rights.
1860s France acquires foothold on the Somali coast, later to become Djibouti.
1875 Egypt occupies towns on Somali coast and parts of the interior.
1887 Britain proclaims protectorate over Somaliland after reaching a final agreement with the local King Menelik and various tribal chiefs and draws a boundary with neighbouring Ethiopia to form British Somaliland. Besides trading interests, the British protectorate serves as a counterweight to the growing Italian influence in the key port city of neighbouring Zanzibar.
1888 Anglo-French agreement defines boundary between Somali possessions of the two countries.
1889 Italy sets up a protectorate in central Somalia, later consolidated with territory in the south ceded by the sultan of Zanzibar.
1897 – 1907 Italy makes several agreements with tribal chiefs and the British to finally mark out the boundaries of a separate Italian protectorate of Somaliland.
1908 The Italian Government assumes direct administration of Italian Somaliland, giving the territory a colonial status.
1925 Territory east of the Jubba river detached from Kenya to become the westernmost part of the Italian protectorate.
1936 Following decades of expansionism, Italy captures Addis Ababa and Ethiopia to form the province of Italian East Africa.
June 1940 Italian troops drive out the British garrison and capture British Somaliland.
1941 British recapture British Somaliland and most of Italian Somaliland.
1941- 1959 Meanwhile, British Somaliland sees a period of colonial development as the territory moves towards a gradual development of local institutions and self-government.
1947 Following Italy’s defeat in World War II, Italy renounces all rights and titles to Italian Somaliland.
1950 The U.N. General Assembly adopts a resolution making Italian Somaliland a U.N. trust territory under Italian administrative control.
1956 Italian Somaliland renamed Somalia and granted internal autonomy.
1960 British and Italian Somaliland gain independence and merge to form the United Republic of Somalia.
1960 – 1969 Two successive democratically elected governments attempt to balance the expansionist interests of pro-Arab, pan-Somali factions with interests in Somali-inhabited areas of Ethiopia and Kenya, and “modernist” factions whose priorities include economic and social development.
1963 Border dispute with Kenya, diplomatic relations with Britain broken until 1968.
1964 Border dispute with Ethiopia erupts into hostilities.
1967 Abdi Rashid Ali Shermarke beats Aden Abdullah Osman Daar in elections for president.
October 1969 Maj. Gen. Mohamed Siad Barre seizes power in a coup. Democratically elected President Abdi Rashid Ali Shermarke is assassinated.
1970 Siad declares Somalia a socialist nation and undertakes literacy programs and planned economic development under the principles of “scientific socialism.”
1972 – 1977 A period of persistent border clashes with Ethiopia for control of Ethiopia’s Ogaden region, which also sees a severe drought in the region that leads to widespread starvation.
1974 Somalia and the Soviet Union sign a treaty of friendship. Somalia also joins the Arab League.
1974-75 Severe drought causes widespread starvation.
1977 Somalia invades the Somali-inhabited Ogaden region of Ethiopia.
1978 Following a gradual shifting of Soviet favour from Somalia to Ethiopia and the infusions of Soviet arms and Cuban troops to Ethiopia, Somali troops are pushed out of Ethiopian territory.
1978 – 1990 A period of growing cooperation and strategic alliance between Somalia and the West begins. The United States becomes Somalia’s chief partner in defence and several Somali military officers are trained in U.S. military schools.
1981 Opposition to Barre’s regime begins to emerge after he excludes members of the Mijertyn and Isaq clans from government positions, which are filled with people from his own Marehan clan.
1988 Peace accord with Ethiopia.
1991 At the end of a period of growing domestic factionalism, insurgency and an open war with clans in northwest Somalia that have left the country in economic shambles and forced thousands of Somalis to flee their homes, Siad is ousted by opposition clans and forced to flee to Nigeria, where he ultimately dies.
1991 Former British protectorate of Somaliland declares unilateral independence.
December 1992 U.S. troops lead a U.N. peacekeeping mission to Somalia, under Operation Restore Hope, which begins with the arrival of 1,800 U.S. Marines landing at night on a Mogadishu beach. The peacekeeping mission included providing humanitarian assistance to Somalis and bringing peace to the troubled country. But while the humanitarian mission is quickly achieved, the peacekeeping force finds itself dragged into Somalia’s internecine battles.
October 1993 For the United States, Operation Restore Hope reaches its nadir when members of the U.S. Army’s elite Delta Force and the Army Rangers are used to raid warlord headquarters and abduct them. In one such raid, the U.S. forces are dropped into a Mogadishu neighbourhood to snatch two lieutenants of warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. While the snatch and grab operation is successfully accomplished, trouble starts when two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters are shot down by rocket-propelled grenades. As U.S. Army Rangers attempt to rescue the crews of the downed helicopters, a mob of armed militiamen and angry Somalis descend on the site. A horrific carnage follows that ends only 15 hours later when a combined U.S./U.N. armoured convoy manages to reach the trapped Rangers and Delta operators. But for the world, the mission in Somalia would forever be gruesomely remembered for the 18 U.S. Army Rangers killed and footage of the exultant crowds dragging naked, mutilated bodies through the streets of Mogadishu. Despite domestic outrage, the U.S. continues to play a major role in the mission until 1994.
1994 President Bill Clinton orders the withdrawal of the 30,000 U.S. troops on Somali soil.
1995 Following the withdrawal of U.S. forces, the vanguard of the 21-nation Operation Restore Hope, the U.N. peacekeepers leave after an unsuccessful operation amidst charges of cruelty and even the murder of Somalis. By the end of the operation, dozens of U.N. peacekeepers were killed and hundreds of Somalis died at the hands of U.S. and U.N. forces.
1996 Warlord Muhammad Aideed dies of his wounds and is succeeded by his son, Hussein.
1997 Following a complete administrative collapse, chiefs of some rival clans meet in the Egyptian capital of Cairo and agree to convene a conference to look into rival claims to Somalia.
1998 Puntland region declares autonomy.
August 2000 In the 13th such attempt to form a government, Somali warlords and militiamen meet in neighbouring Djibouti for peace talks organized by Djibouti President Omar Guellah. They elect Abdulkassim Salat Hassan president of Somalia. Hassan appoints Ali Khalif Gelayadh as his prime minister. But even as the new government attempts to start the parliamentary process in exile in Djibouti, some powerful warlords, notably Hossein Mohammed Aideed and Mohamed Ibrahim Egal do not recognize Hassan’s election. But Mogadishu’s most powerful clan leader, Ali Mahdi Mohamed, promises his support.
October 2000 Hassan arrives in Mogadishu to a hero’s welcome and tight security. Gelayadh puts together a Cabinet of ministers, Somalia’s first government in 10 years. But Hassan’s administration has difficulty establishing control outside Mogadishu.
March 2001 Aideed announces that he has patched up his differences with clan leaders Muse Sudi Yalahow and Osman Hassan Ali Atto and calls for a replacement of Hassan’s transitional government following a meeting between the leaders in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. Meanwhile, opposition to Hassan has seen fighting rage on in the southern parts of the country as drought, security concerns and the criminalization of refugee camps along the Somali-Kenyan border periodically compels Kenya to halt cross-border trade, thereby further crippling the economically crumbling East African country.
April 2001 Somali warlords, backed by Ethiopia, announce their intention to form a national government within six months, in direct opposition to the country’s transitional administration.
August 2001 UN appeals for food aid for half a million people in the drought-hit south.
August 2004 In 14th attempt since 1991 to restore central government, a new transitional parliament inaugurated at ceremony in Kenya. In October the body elects Abdullahi Yusuf as president.
December 2004 Tsunami waves generated by an undersea earthquake off Indonesia hit the Somali coast and the island of Hafun. Hundreds of deaths are reported; tens of thousands of people are displaced.
February – June 2005 Somali government begins returning home from exile in Kenya, but there are bitter divisions over where in Somalia the new parliament should sit.
November 2005 Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Ghedi survives an assassination attempt in Mogadishu. Gunmen attack his convoy, killing six people.
February 2006 Transitional parliament meets in Somalia – in the central town of Baidoa – for the first time since it was formed in Kenya in 2004.
March – May 2006 Scores of people are killed and hundreds are injured during fierce fighting between rival militias in Mogadishu. It is the worst violence in almost a decade.
June – July 2006 Militias loyal to the Union of Islamic Courts take control of Mogadishu and other parts of the south after defeating clan warlords.
July – August 2006 Mogadishu’s air and seaports are re-opened for the first time since 1995.
September 2006 Transitional government and the Union of Islamic Courts begin peace talks in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. Somalia’s first known suicide bombing targets President Yusuf outside parliament in Baidoa.
First Russian diplomat sets foot in Somaliland for over 38 years
Somaliland – (MoFA) – The Foreign Minister met with the Deputy Consular of Russia Yury Kourchakov who is based in Djibouti. This was the first time a Russian diplomat set foot in Somaliland for over 38 years. This occasion was a meet and greet for the Consular to meet the Foreign Minister, and to discuss enhancing ties between the two states.
Dr. Saad Shire (Left) and Yury Kourchakov The Foreign Minister explained the struggle Somaliland faced and with virtually no help, Somaliland has earned the label of “emerging democracy” . Somaliland is a remarkable success story that cannot be denied while its neighbor Somalia is unstable. Foreign Minister said ” The Republic of Somaliland should get the international recognition it deserves not only because it is right, but because it is in the best interests of the World for the sake of stability and peace in the region.” The Representative of Somaliland in Djibouti travelled along with the Deputy Consular of Russia to Somaliland and met prior to this meeting they both had a fruitful discussion. The Representative of Somaliland went on to say “I hope you will see the peace and stability Somaliland enjoys while we travel to Berbera and historical places of Somaliland.” The Russian Diplomat thanked the Foreign Minister for their warm reception and hopes to revisit Somaliland. The Republic of Somaliland and Russia hope to increase its cooperation to strengthen the economic ties that will be beneficial for both countries
TheShakir Essa Report, first aired January 2012, is a thirty-minutes, weekly investigative documentary in which he reports on African immigrant stories northern Africa, Libya and Tunisia. Shakir Essa is a social media activist in east african communities he served as manager at somali journalists and producer of Somali Today Tv