The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has decided to end its military training program in Somalia, following the seizure of nearly 10 million dollars from a UAE Royal Jet by the Somali government last week.
“The UAE has decided to disband its military training program in Somalia,” said a government statement run on the UAE’s WAM news agency on Sunday.
The decision was announced after Emirati military trainers were held for hours at Bosaso International Airport in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland, as they refused to allow security forces to check their suspiciously “heavy” luggage.
“The decision comes in response to Somali security forces’ seizure of a UAE-registered civil aircraft at Mogadishu Airport and confiscation of money destined to pay the soldiers,” WAM said.
The UAE’s statement, however, came only after the Somali government announced it will disband Abu Dhabi’s training mission in the country and “fully take over” the troops trained by the Persian Gulf kingdom.
Relations between Somalia and the UAE have deteriorated since Somalia's refusal to take sides in the Saudi-led boycott of Qatar, which the UAE is part of.
Last month as the UAE reached a military agreement with Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia seeking to break away from the mainland, Mogadishu censured the agreement as violation of international law, which further strained the relations.
Under that deal, the UAE builds a military base in Berbera Port and trains the soldiers of the breakaway Somali region.