Do you fully get how complex and unpredictable Somalia political environment is? Once again, this country, ravaged by conflict and instability for decades, is in the limelight due to its murky politics, rampant corruption, and foreign interventions like UAE.
The Somali government’s recent controversial decision to cede command of its army to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in compliance with a recent security pact between the two nations has sparked widespread debate and criticism, both domestically and internationally, raising concerns about the country’s sovereignty.
This move highlights the complex challenges of rebuilding institutions and establishing a functional government in Somalia.
Critics argue that the UAE’s involvement in Somalia’s security sector directly undermines the country’s sovereignty, compromising its ability to independently deal with security challenges. The involvement of foreign powers in Somalia’s affairs poses a contentious issue.
Regional and international powers view Somalia as a critical battleground for influence in the region. The UAE’s growing presence in Somalia, particularly in the semi-autonomous region of Somaliland, has raised suspicions about its intentions, indicating its interest in Somalia may be propelled by strategic geopolitical interests in the Red Sea region, which serves as a crucial maritime route for global trade. The UAE’s interest in Somalia poses potential threats to the country’s governance and economy.
There are concerns that the UAE’s history of utilizing mercenaries and private military contractors in other conflicts, such as in Yemen, may pose risks to Somalia’s sovereignty.
Furthermore, Somalia’s weak governance and lack of oversight mechanisms present an opportunity for the UAE to exert undue influence over the country’s political landscape, raising fears about the erosion of Somalia’s sovereignty and its ability to independently pursue stability and development.
The lack of transparency and accountability in the process of handing over the army command to the UAE has raised questions, with many arguing that the decision was made without proper consultation and oversight, potentially having far-reaching consequences for Somalia’s long-term stability and security.
The involvement of external actors in a country’s security affairs can often lead to tensions and conflicts, especially in a complex political landscape like Somalia, where various clans and factions vie for power and influence.
Inclusive decision-making processes that involve all relevant stakeholders, including the Somali government, clans, and factions, are necessary to ensure that the security pact does not contribute to further instability and conflict within the country.
Proper checks and balances are crucial in any paramilitary forces that may be established in Somalia, as human rights abuses and impunity by foreign-backed security forces may continue to contribute to the already dire humanitarian situation in the war-torn country.
Evaluating the Implications of the UAE-Somalia Security Pact:
The UAE-Somalia security pact has both positive and negative implications for Somalia. On the one hand, the agreement provides a much-needed boost to Somalia’s security apparatus, which has been struggling for years. The UAE has a well-equipped military and extensive experience in counter-terrorism operations, which can help Somalia to build a more capable security force. Furthermore, the pact has the potential to strengthen the UAE-Somalia relationship, which could lead to increased economic and diplomatic cooperation between the two nations.
However, the pact also raises concerns about Somalia’s sovereignty and the potential for foreign interference in the country’s internal affairs. Some have argued that the agreement gives the UAE excessive control over Somalia’s security apparatus, which could lead to the UAE using Somalia as a proxy in regional conflicts. Additionally, there are fears that the UAE may seek to exploit Somalia’s natural resources, which could further undermine the country’s sovereignty.
Moreover, the UAE-Somalia security pact could potentially exacerbate regional tensions. Somalia is situated in a volatile region that is home to various armed groups, and the UAE’s involvement in the country could lead to further instability. The agreement could also strain relations between Somalia and other countries in the region, who may view the UAE’s actions as a threat to their own security.
Addressing the Sovereignty Quandary:
To address the sovereignty concerns raised by the UAE-Somalia security pact, it is essential to ensure that the agreement is transparent and respects Somalia’s sovereignty. Somalia’s government should ensure that the pact is in line with the country’s laws and constitution and that any foreign involvement in the country’s security apparatus is carried out in a transparent and accountable manner.
Furthermore, Somalia should use the pact as an opportunity to strengthen its own security apparatus and build the capacity to protect its own sovereignty and interests. The government should work to improve the skills and capabilities of its security forces and invest in the development of its own military and intelligence infrastructure.
Finally, Somalia should work to maintain good relations with other countries in the region and ensure that the UAE’s involvement in the country does not lead to increased regional tensions. The government should engage in diplomatic efforts to address concerns raised by neighboring countries and ensure that the UAE’s actions in Somalia do not threaten regional stability.
The UAE-Somalia security pact is a complex issue that requires careful consideration of the potential benefits and risks. While the agreement has the potential to improve Somalia’s security situation, it also raises concerns about foreign interference and the impact on Somalia’s sovereignty. To address these concerns, Somalia must ensure that the pact is transparent and respects its sovereignty, while also working to build its own strong and independent security apparatus. Ultimately, the success of the UAE-Somalia security pact will depend on Somalia’s ability to navigate the complex geopolitical landscape of the region and maintain good relations with its neighbors.