Somalia: Somaliland signs a deal with UAE to set up a military base in Berbera
HARGAISA, Somaliland- Officials from the northwestern region of Somaliland were reported to sign an agreement with United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday to set up a military base in the port of Berbera, Garowe Online reports.
The move comes after Somaliland Parliament has approved the deal between Somaliland and the UAE, allowing the UAE government to launch a military base in the port town of Berbera.
The chairman of UCID political party Faysal Ali Warabe who was among the officials inked the military deal said the UAE military base would benefit Somaliland economically and create needed jobs for the people.
"The military deal with UAE is a clear sovereign matter to reach international agreements with countries and will help our long running bid for recognition as an independent country," said Warabe.
Speaking to VOA's Somali Service, Mr Warabe has accused individuals against the military base deal in Berbera port of opposing the existence of Somaliland.
When asked, the public resentment and lawmakers protested over the decision, he replied: "It was a politically motivated issue and, therefore it will not jeopardize Somaliland-UAE military deal."
Warabe has blamed the leader of Somaliland’s main opposition Waddani party Abdirahman Mohamed Abdilahi Irro for misleading the public attitude towards the military base in Berbera port.
"It is a historic agreement that the ruling party has accomplished. The UAE has no hidden interests in establishing such military base in the region, but to defend Somaliland from its enemy," he added.
The 25 years deal, will allow the UAE to build its first military base in Africa.
Somaliland is a former British protectorate and declared its own independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991, however, it has not been recognized by any country in the world to date.