UAE ends program to train Somalia’s military

In this April 1, 2018 photo, workers stand in front of shipping containers at the Port of Berbera, run by DP World, which is majority-owned by the Dubai government in the UAE, in Berbera, Somaliland, Somalia. (AP Photo/Malak Harb)
Updated 16 April 2018
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UAE ends program to train Somalia’s military

  • UAE has trained hundreds of Somali troops since 2014 to defeat an Islamist insurgency
  • The money seized by Somali authorities were meant to pay for salaries of Somali soldiers, says UAE news agency

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is ending a military training program in Somalia in response to the seizure of millions of dollars and the temporary holding of a UAE plane by Somali security forces last week.
The UAE has trained hundreds of troops since 2014 as part of an effort boosted by an African Union military mission to defeat an Islamist insurgency and secure the country for the government backed by Western nations, Turkey and the United Nations.
Analysts say Somalia’s relations with UAE are strained by a dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia because Mogadishu has refused to take sides. Arab states have strong trading links with and influence in Somalia, but that is offset by the sway of Qatar and its ally Turkey, one of Somalia’s biggest foreign investors.
A government statement on Sunday followed a similar announcement by Somalia on April 11, in which Mogadishu said it will take over paying and training the soldiers in the program.
“The UAE has decided to disband its military training program in Somalia which started in 2014 to build the capabilities of the Somali army,” said the statement on the UAE’s state news agency WAM.
About $9.6 million in cash was taken from the UAE plane on April 8, Somali police and government sources had said. The UAE said the money was to pay for salaries for Somali soldiers as part of an agreement between the two countries.
The statement said a seizure incident contravened agreements signed by both countries.
The money seized by Somali authorities were meant to pay for salaries of Somali soldiers, says UAE news agency It said the UAE is supervising a counter-piracy maritime police force in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland.
The UAE is also building a military base in Somaliland, another semi-autonomous region of Somalia. 


Iraqi militia leader returns as national security adviser

Updated 2 min 20 sec ago
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Iraqi militia leader returns as national security adviser

  • Iraq’s government has been deadlocked as politicians spar over appointments for several key ministries, including the Interior and Defense

BAGHDAD: The former head of Iraq’s Iran-linked Popular Mobilization militias returned to his dual posts as chairman of the militias and national security adviser to Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, ahead of a Parliament session to consider new Cabinet appointments Tuesday.
Falih Al-Fayadh retook his seat at a meeting of Iraq’s National Security Council on Sunday after he was sacked from his positions by caretaker Prime Minister Haidar Abadi in August for political behavior.
Al-Fayadh has also been nominated to head the country’s powerful Interior Ministry, which has been under the control of ministers close to Iran since 2010. His nomination has been opposed by the political bloc of populist Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr, which says it wants to limit outside influence in Iraqi politics.
Iraq’s government has been deadlocked as politicians spar over appointments for several key ministries, including the Interior and Defense.
Abdul Mahdi was confirmed as premier in October without a full Cabinet after Parliament approved just 14 of 22 ministerial posts.
The Parliament is slated to again consider the rest of the Cabinet nominees on Tuesday, though expectations for a breakthrough are low.
The Popular Mobilization Forces were formed in 2014 to stop the advance of Daesh militants through Iraq. They include several militias funded and trained by Iran.