(Kudos Nahur – Hargeysa, Somaliland)
Somaliland’s delegation has been in United Arab Emirates (UAE) negotiating with DP World for the management of Berbera Port. But all of a sudden, local media reported that the Somaliland delegation reached agreement of military base with UAE. The deal came like bombshell to Ethiopians and Somaliland military planners alike. The Arabian military base would be the first foothold since the 1977 war between Somalia and Ethiopia.
The Horn of Africa, which roughly consists of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Somaliland, has recently seen rivalry. On one side Israel, Saudi Arabia, and UAE; on the other side Egypt. Israelis backed by Saudi Arabia want to restore their historical ties with the people of the Horn of Africa before the Wahhabism philosophy spread with anti-Semitic propaganda. Already, the state of Israel has friendly ties with Addis Ababa.
When United People’s Democratic Party (UDUB) led Somaliland, the government openly dealt with Tel Aviv. Whereas the current ruling party Kulmiye party – whose name roughly translates as “the one that brings together”– brought Egypt, UAE, and Ethiopia, and Somalia to the same playground to get material benefit out of these shady ties. Many security analysts forewarn the conflicting interests of these nations may set Somaliland on fire reminding of Somali proverb “greed doesn’t see its death.”
Ethiopia is a serious ally of Somaliland. Surely, Somaliland could never have enjoyed peace without Addis Ababa’s support. Ethiopian Prime Minister in his address to his parliament even stated categorically that his country would fight alongside with Somaliland forces against any invader. Kulmiye party led by Presidential candidate Muse Bihi, who opposed Ethiopian stabilization ‘invasion’of Somalia, signed the dubious military deal with the UAE. However, the ups and downs in the ties between the two countries, Addis Ababa still committed to protect Somaliland militarily if the latter comes under attack from terrorist or any other country and this may change given on the prime minister’s yesterday interview with Al Jazeera Arabic.
But many of his political cronies including Mohamed Kahin strongly advised Muse Bihi, the ruling party presidential candidate – who said in an interview with Ethiopian Reporter that Ethiopia blocks Somaliland’s recognition not to visit Cairo as that can be construed stabbing in the back of ally. More than half of the Somaliland key cabinet ministers resigned because of this suicidal policy only which only further alienated the only ally Somaliland ever had.