Coinciding with a day marking the beginning of the long-awaited expansion of the Red Sea port of Berbera, as part of an agreement the Republic of Somaliland previously reached with Dubai’s own DP World, Thursday, the Qatari Al Jazeera published a story which intimated the event was all about a violation of the United Nation’s embargo of arms to Somalia.

The event, which was held at the Somaliland presidency, Hargeisa, had nothing to do with the UAE planned military base in Berbera. Instead, it was about the construction of a 400-meter quay to expand Berbera port services and boost its efficiency as well as capacity to handle more incoming volumes of imports.

To denigrate Somaliland’s efforts to attract international friends to partner with on trade and diplomacy, Qatar openly sided with Somalia’s continued protestations against development, international aid, and reconstruction of key infrastructures priorly razed to the ground by a regime operating from Mogadishu, Somalia. Same adverse attention killed tens of thousands, used fighter planes to raze down fleeing civilians, hired mercenaries to its dirty work, and killed tens of thousands more in cold blood some of the remains of which are still being discovered in mass graves tied together.

The article and the signature event present an interesting contrast, respectively, between the UAE-cum-DP World attitude towards Somaliland, addressing it correctly in words and in practice as the ‘Republic of Somaliland’, and the openly inimical opposition of Somalia against everything Somaliland and the support Qatar lends it in arms, in equipment, in diplomacy and in moral boost on everything Somalia.

Below is the Al Jazeera article.

UAE violating Somalia arms embargo: Report

Abu Dhabi also accused of building an army base in Somaliland, according to an unpublished UN report seen by Al Jazeera.

A new report by a panel of experts from the UN Sanctions Committee seen by Al Jazeera reveals that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has continued to violate arms embargo imposed on Somalia.

The report, yet to be released, notes that the UAE has carried on with the construction of a military base in Berbera in Somalia’s Somaliland region, including the transfer of military equipment despite international resolutions against these arms shipments.

The UAE began construction of the base last year, under an agreement with officials in Somaliland, a northern region of Somalia that self-declared independence from the latter in 1991 following a civil war.

The UAE is investing in developing a port, which is strategically located close to Yemen, where UAE troops have been fighting as part of an alliance with Saudi Arabia against Houthi rebels since 2015.

Somalia has previously urged the UN Security Council to take action against the construction of the UAE base in Somaliland.

The report also noted that the panel of UN experts did not receive a response from authorities in Somaliland when they were asked to comply with the embargo in place.

When the panel asked the UAE to present them with more details of the construction of the base, the response was: “The UAE concluded all agreements with the Somali regions based on constitutional powers granted to the heads of those regions to achieve security, stability and prosperity for the Republic of Somalia and its people.”

In September 2017, maritime police in the Somali state of Puntland intercepted a ship heading from Yemen to Somalia and seized weapons found on board, the international team of experts said.

In a review by the panel on some of the Chinese weapons found in the vessel, Beijing said no Chinese company had violated the sanctions, without providing further clarification.

Serbian authorities, when reviewing the number of machine guns seized onboard the ship, said that they had sold 1,000 submachine guns to the UAE in 2016, with the UAE armed forces as the final user of those weapons.

The panel said it had not received any response from the UAE when asked to clarify why weapons were on board the seized ship.

UAE Ambassador to the UN Lana Nusseibeh said she could not comment because the report had not yet been published.

“That being said, the UAE is fully aware of all Security Council resolutions and is in full compliance with the sanctions imposed,” Nusseibeh told Reuters news agency.

“We also reaffirm our continued cooperation with the Monitoring Group throughout its mandate.”

The Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Somalia in 1992 to cut a flow of arms to feuding armed groups who overthrew President Mohamed Siad Barre and plunged the country into war.


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