The UAE was given the permission to build the base last year near the airport of Somaliland’s Berbera port city. The base can operate for some 30 years, although the agreement is to be finalised within two months.
“They have the resources and the knowledge,” Muse Bihi Abdi, president of Somaliland, said.
The announcement made by Abdi comes a day after Somalia passed a law to ban the UAE from going forward with a controversial $422 million regeneration project in Somaliland in a tripartite contract with Ethiopia.
Last week Somalia called the deal “null and void” on the grounds that it had not given its consent. The Federal Government of Somalia claims that it undermines its sovereignty and constitution. But Somaliland is willing to go forward with the deal, as is the UAE’s port company DP World.
Turkey, which is at political tensions with the UAE, also opened a military base in Somalia last year, deploying some 200 troops to train Somalia’s security forces. Early this year the Turkish National Security Council finalised a 2022 plan to deploy some 60,000 Turkish troops worldwide.
Source: Middle East Monitor