Political analysts returning from a duty tour in Somalia warn of a certain collision looming overhead that would pit Turkey against the United Arab Emirates in Somalia over security and military interests that each had counted on in the country. The divergent interests of the two countries emerged when Turkey came out of the woods in the form of advanced preparations for a military base in the war-torn Horn of Africa country.
Turkey lays a claim to the right based on the extensive support it gave to the beleaguered administration in Mogadishu in a number of forms including technical and hardware support to Somalia’s military. Turkey trained hundreds of military and other security officers for Mogadishu in both Turkish military institutions and in Somalia itself. It also helped it by pumping millions worth of Dollars in rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, health and educational facilities.
In this light, Turkey jockeyed itself into an impregnable position in the hearts and the minds of Somalia leaders, feting them, financing them.
The UAE, on the other hand, had been a close ally of Somalia on the diplomatic, security and economic fronts long before the Turks made their appearance on the shores of Mogadishu.
The UAE supports Somalia, among many others, in paying for its security and policing expenses – salaries, operational costs and hardware included.
The analysts also discovered that the presence of a Turkish military base in Somalia would certainly rattle the Egyptian military leaders, making the whole Arab psyche more jittery than ever. Certainly, Egyptian interests in Somalia, it is believed may be more compromised than initially meets the eye.
For the Arab countries such as the UAE, the Saudis and Egypt, Somalia signifies more of a strategic ally than Iraq.
On the surface, the Turks have justified the formation of the base as a training ground for Somalia military personnel of in between 5000 to 10 000 soldiers.
But that, it is believed, is for the media, and the ‘nerds’.
The Turkish Somalia base, it is explained by a statement on the Turkish Haber 7 website, follows a similar presence in Qatar to, primarily, ensure Turkish economic and strategic interests in the region are not adversely diverted or put on harm’s way .
And, of course, the Emirates, fronting for its sister Gulf states, is not thrilled to share Somalia with Turkey a planned military command of both the Indian and Red Sea approaches so to establish an undeclared buffer zone for the security of the Gulf oil fields.
There is no doubt, however, each of the vying parties will leave no stone unturned to possessively defend its ‘patronage’ of a Somalia that is only now beginning to realize the uninviable predicament its covetous leaders has placed it in.
Whatever the case is with the forces that are wrestling for Somalia spoils, it does not, definitely, augur well for Somalis on the ground 99% of whom have no inkling of the fight being decided over their war-ravaged, weary souls.
______________ Core facts Drawn from the Arabic http://m.hournews.net/news-52744.htm