The United Arab Emirates is one of the countries that have stood next to Somalia the most in the fight against terrorism, whether the terrorism of ISIS or the Al-Shabaab movement that is widespread in the country, as the Somali cabinet unanimously approved a security cooperation agreement with Abu Dhabi in this field.
Accordingly, the Somali government will submit the security and military cooperation agreement, which was signed on Monday, February 6, to the parliament to pass it so as to complete all legal procedures regarding its entry into force as soon as possible.
Leading Emirati role
The UAE is one of the few countries that has stood by Somalia over the past three decades after the latter slid into civil war in 1991. While most countries closed their doors to Somalis fleeing the hell and scourge of war, the UAE was their only refuge.
UAE relief agencies, most notably the Red Crescent, worked in Somalia during the 1990s, providing the Somali people with humanitarian and development services.
The UAE has provided health aid to the Somali people, most notably the construction of Sheikh Zayed Hospital in the capital, Mogadishu. The UAE has also opened medical clinics in a number of Somali cities, including Merca, Afgooye, Baidoa, Jowhar and Kismayo.
The UAE also played a major role in supporting the Somali government in the security field by training the security forces. It also took a significant role in the international efforts to combat piracy, which had paralyzed international maritime traffic and negatively affected the country’s reputation.
Since 2014, the UAE has been keen to provide support for building the Somali army, and the Task Force has played a prominent role in building the army and forming strong security services that have the power to respond to attacks by extremist groups.
The mission of the UAE Task Force contributed to curbing the terrorist forces in Somalia and forming a strong regular army capable of protecting the security and stability of the country, as the UAE’s main vision is that the security of the Horn of Africa is an integral part of the security and stability of the Arab region.
For his part, Mohamed Ezz El-Din, a researcher on African affairs, said that both the UAE and Somalia have long relations at the humanitarian, relief and security levels, but the timing of the announcement comes at a critical stage that the East African region is experiencing in light of various global events.
In an exclusive statement to the Reference, Ezz El-Din confirmed that the security agreement between the UAE and Somalia represents a turning point in Mogadishu’s fight against the terrorist movements that threaten it, as well as in ensuring the stability of the security situation in maritime navigation in the Horn of Africa.
“The UAE is working to help Somalia in its war against terrorism and safe passage from the security crises the country is going through, and at the same time securing maritime traffic in the Horn of Africa,” he said.
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