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Somalia urges UN action over UAE base in breakaway Somaliland

The UAE seeks to develop a base in Somaliland's port city of Berbera [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 March, 2018

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Somalia has called on the UN to take action over the establishment of a UAE military base in the breakaway region of Somaliland.
The UAE's construction of a military base in Somaliland is a "clear violation of international law", Somalia's ambassador to the UN said, urging the Security Council to intervene.

Speaking on Tuesday, Abukar Osman on the Security Council to "take the necessary steps" to "put an end to these actions" as the Gulf state seeks to develop a base in the port city of Berbera.

"The Federal Government of Somalia strongly condemns these blatant violations, and reaffirms that it will take the necessary measures deriving from its primary responsibility to defend the inviolability of the sovereignty and the unity of Somalia," he added.

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

Read more:  UAE is using local instability to sow discord in Somalia

Earlier this month, the UAE said it would train Somaliland security forces, including the police and the military, as part of the deal. 

DP World, the world's fourth-largest port operator based in Dubai, said in 2016 it would invest as much as $442m to develop the Berbera port. 

Osman's statements come after Somalia's parliament voted to ban DP World from operating in the country and rejected the development venture. 

Somaliland, however, said the vote would not affect the agreement. 

The UAE has sought to expand its influence in East Africa with a string of concessions, including its presence in neighbouring Yemen where it is allied to both the government and southern separatists.

The UAE has established military and business facilities in Yemen's southern port of Aden and the island of Socotra.

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