Somaliland: UAE Strategic Power Projection in Somaliland



UAE Strategic Power Projection in Somaliland

Somalilandsun-partners provides practical policyrecommendations forUAE primarily to counter Iran rather than engage it,UAE policy in east Africa, Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere is driven largely by the UAE’s strategy miscalculates to weaken Iran. But a violation of international laws and shame to blame to do so by United Nations and likeminded nations.

Since the 2011 Arab uprisings, the UAE has become more active in the region, including in the unilateral use of its own military and establishment of bases and facilities with which to project power. The UAE’s assertiveness has been enabled not only by the benefits of many years of defense cooperation with the United States but also by the UAE’s partnerships with countries far from its borders, including nations in East Africa.

The UAE has been using its financial and military assets to be able to project power to support its operations in Yemen as well as to counter Iranian influence more broadly. The cornerstone of that effort has been the forging of military basing agreements with and support for friendly leaders and factions in several East African countries.During 2015, UAE forces at first deployed to Djibouti to support the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, but in mid-2015 a UAE-Djibouti dispute caused UAE (and Saudi) forces to begin using facilities in Eritrea instead, in exchange for UAE and Saudi funding of facilities upgrades. The UAE now trains pro government Yemeni forces at a facility there. In mid-2015, the UAE expanded its partnership with the fragile government in Somalia to open a new center at which a few hundred UAE Special Forces train Somali commandos to counter the terrorist group Al Shabab and other threats. The UAE reportedly provided funds to try to influence the outcome of Somalia’s presidential elections that were held in February 2017. The UAE also reportedly has established a base at the port of Berbera, in the breakaway region of Somaliland, triggering a legal complaint from the government of Somalia in February 2017.The UAE has cooperated with the Saudi-led effort to persuade Sudan’s leaders to realign with the GCC countries and forgo its erstwhile alliance with Iran. As evidence of the apparent success of that effort, Sudanese troops joined the Arab coalition effort against the Houthis and Sudan’s leader, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, visited the UAE in mid-February 2017.UAE firms have also made substantial infrastructure investments—which could eventually benefit UAE military operations—elsewhere in East Africa.

UAE , Saudi Arabia ,U.S have similar position on Palestine=Israel that the two-state solution is no longer viable, the idea of [a one-state-for-two-people] solution by which Palestinians and Jews will be citizens of the same state and enjoy equal rights is gaining some GCC popularity.

Lead to an “explosion “the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The GCC argues that Israel committing an historical injustice , inhuman aggression” where a U.S. embassy constitute an obstacle to peace, a flagrant violation of the resolutions of international legitimacy, and a blatant attack on the firm legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. —where an embassy may be located is unquestioned, and/or that Palestinians were abused of their hope for a capital in Jerusalem. Such a move was undermined GCC unity and prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace and U.S. Saudi Arabia. UAE credibility with Palestinians and in the Muslim world, and would have devastating consequence in Middle East peace process.Also this isone of the main underlined common differences between the Qatar and otherGCC countries that stillremainunsolved.

The UAE has formal diplomatic relations with Israel, but UAE troops did not participate militarily in any major Arab-Israeli war (two of which, in 1948 and 1967, occurred before the UAE was formed). Israel and the UAE have similar positions on Qatar, Palestine, Syria,Yemen,and Iran and there are consistent reports of quiet diplomatic cooperation and security cooperation.For the past several years, Israeli diplomats have attended multilateral meetings in the UAE, such as the January 2014 conference of the 144-country International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), attended by Israel’s then Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Silvan Shalom. In November 2015, the UAE gave Israel permission to establish a diplomatic office in Abu Dhabi to facilitate Israel’s participation in IRENA, but some observers interpreted the permission as reflecting the common interests between Israel and the UAE.The UAE has apparently set aside its earlier recriminations over an Israeli assassination of Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at a hotel in Dubai in 2010. The main factor that causes UAE ruling family unconditional surrenders and halts any policies against Israel. It is time UAE facing unprecedented fears from Mosad predators. The GCC countries affirmed that a secure, prosperous and democratic Jewish state is central to their security interests in the region, and the worst foe to Israel enemies. Otherwise, those that choose to challenge Israelinterests will encounter the firmest resolve.


Center for Somaliland Political Progress

Ahmed A. Abdi