Ethiopia: UAE to Secure Second Air and Naval Base in Horn of Africa
February 14, 2017 - After securing military base in Assab, Eritrea, UAE has moved south to Somaliland to establish yet another air and naval base in Berbera. Somaliland parliament just approved a deal to allowing the United Arab Emirates to establish air and naval base in the port town of Berbera, according to VOA report.
Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo presented the motion on Sunday to a joint session by both houses of the parliament, saying “it will attract investments, and it will not bring any harm to Somaliland or the region.”
A number of lawmakers angrily opposed the motion and shouted against the president before they were removed form parliament. The motion then passed with the support of 144 out of 151 lawmakers.
If signed, the deal gives the UAE a strong military foothold in the Horn of Africa. The UAE had already secured a military base in the port of Assab in Eritrea. Observers say UAE plans to have a long-term military bases to monitor naval traffics in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea.
Somaliland’s Aviation Minister Farhan Adan Haybe said the deal is valid for 25 years, and after it expires the Somaliland government will “own the military base and all the investments made by UAE.”
In return the UAE has agreed to implement in Somaliland various development projects, including modernizing highways.(VOA)