SOMALIA: An Educated Perspective of the Agreement On Military and Security Cooperation And Fighting Terrorism Between the FGS and UAE 

Published: February 5, 2023

The Somali cabinet did the right thing to reject the dangerous MOU that would have forced the Somali government to relinquish control of its security obligations that in turn would have seen its national defence apparatus placed under the control of the foreign party.

Under this dubious agreement, the foreign party stated herein would take over control of Somali land, sea and airports and without restrictions , the military personnel of the foreign power would be granted unimpeded freedom of movement anywhere in the country. Worse still, the shady one-sided agreement allows the foreign power’s intelligence agencies to take control of information and intelligence gathering to advance their hidden agenda further subordinating the Somali national intelligence which will come under direct control of the foreign power’s intelligence agency. 

More disturbingly the foreign party’s military personnel will be granted immunity from any liability and indemnity in the conduct of their operations meaning Somali victims of atrocities at the hands of the foreign entity will have no legal recourse in their own country. Furthermore, the foreign power will be exempted from any domestic or international legal recourse in the event of deadly consequences to the local population. 

The rejected agreement would have  amounted to loss of Somalia’s sovereignty  and territorial integrity. It accords the foreign party the ability to engage in direct military intervention in Somalia, which is in direct violation of national and international law. 

The purported training of Somali security forces by the foreign “partner” is a sinister move to undercut and undermine the good work already being undertaken by Turkiye, which offers a more advanced, robust training to Somali security forces. 

The MOU also stipulates that the parties can engage in other forms of cooperation, which ostensibly will open the doors to highly manipulative commercial agreements.

Somalia does not need another layer of security under foreign control. Somalia already has dependable security partners, including ATMIS, Turkey, and US. The dubious agreement that would have allowed for the shipping of arms, ammunition, weapons, and other combat equipment  into Somalia by the foreign party is a direct contravention of the UN arms embargo. Such a breach would make it difficult for Somalia to get the UNSC arms embargo lifted. 

The Somali Defence Minister and his partners in crime should be subjected to a thorough grilling by the relevant parliamentary committee for national defence. 

To send a strong message to such profiteers and as a means of deterrence to wannabe profiteers, the defence minister should be sent home forthwith. It is time the Somali cabinet and parliament cracked the whip to protect the country from the selfish interest of shady individuals holding important national dockets.

Deeq S Yusuf