The United Arab Emirates has a military base in Somaliland and is exploiting its port at Berbera. It has just undertaken to train Somaliland’s police force and local army.

Somaliland is not recognized by any State apart from Israel. Only Israel had dealings with it, setting up there its joint staff with Saudi Arabia against Yemen. But Somaliland is in the process of reverting to a colony of the United Kingdom, and is being bought by the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai Ports World has set up a company to manage Berbera Port. On 1 March 2018, a 10% stake in this company was transferred to Ethiopia. Somaliland retained a 30% stake and the Emirates 51 %.

Following this, the Somali Parliament — which considers Somaliland as a separatist, illegitimate Republic — condemned the Emirates presence and is forbidding any of its nationals from having any contact with Abu Dhabi.

At a press conference held on 16 March 2018, the President of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi, categorized the Somali position as “a declaration of war”. In January, a conflict had almost broken out regarding the border of Puntland – another state that is not recognized.

All the alliances in the Horn of Africa are being re-organized. In one camp are Israel, Egypt and Saudi and in the other, the Qatar and Turkey. As for the United States, France, Japan and China, they have installed military bases in Djibouti.

Anoosha Boralessa