Sources close to the delegation of the newly elected president of Somalia in the Saudi Kingdom revealed that Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo (“Mr. Cheese”) tried and failed to convince the Saudi Kingdom to halt the establishment of a UAE military base in Berbera of the Republic of Somaliland.
The story was later confirmed by the Riyadh Post (see below), reporting that Mogadishu’s Farmajo viewed the deal as ‘illegal’ since his administration has not been asked by either party for ‘permission’. According to the source, President Farmajo submitted to the Saudi Kingdom a long shopping list at the top of which was his desire to halt the Gulf state of the United Arab Emirates setting up a military/naval base of the strategic port city of Berbera, and the multi-dimensional, far-reaching developmental initiatives it has pledged the government of Somaliland.
Mr. Farmajo, the sources said, harbored the belief that the 26-year old internationally unrecognized de facto state of Somaliland was no different than the small, regional provinces Somalia chooses to call ‘states’ that come under the rule and thumb of the Mogadishu-seated, AU protected administration.
Mr. Farmajo argued that the establishment of the base in Berbera and the permission granted by the Somaliland parliament and so accepted by the UAE was tantamount to a tacit recognition the Emirates gave to Somaliland since the ‘Somalia’ government he headed had no say so whatsoever in the whole process that the base deal and the DP World Berbera port takeover, before it, went through.
Second Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz receiving the Somalia President, it was reported, outlined to him that the Berbera deal was, in fact, a deal wholeheartedly approved and supported by all the six Gulf States seeing Berbera as a strategic foothold in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden of the Red Sea. At the meeting was the Kingdom’s Minister of Defense, Addil Al Jubair, who took the President through the military, economic and strategic logic behind the UAE proposal, and how the base would be indispensable to the security of the whole region.The Saudi rebuff leaves Somaliland so much stronger and a mile or two nearer to full-blown international recognition which would, once more. restore the independence it so rashly lost to Somalia in its haste to help bring the five states of the Greater Somalia dream to one fold.
The Somalia government, in tandem with opposition elements of Somaliland, planned to stage a noisy demonstration to protest against the base in front of the Emirates’ Embassy in London, UK, today.
One argument against the base which detractors used was that the base would bring the Yemeni war home to Somaliland despite the fact that there was a fully equipped, all round military base a stone’s throw removed from the Yemeni shores in Assab of Eritrea.
The video below argues why the Yemeni conflict did not step over to Eritrea only 23 miles away and would do so in Somaliland thousands of kilometres distant.
the video details the history as well as the myriad benefits for the Somaliland nation inherent in the UAE base.
Berbera city, visitors observe, is already coming to life again due to the Port- and base-related activities that are anticipated.