SOMALIA (OBSERVATORY) – Somali army soldiers exchanged fire yesterday in the capital Mogadishu at a military facility used by the UAE in a training program before ending its program against the backdrop of the alignment of the Somali government within the Turkish axis.
The incident reflects the state of chaos and chaos that has hit Somali forces since the end of the UAE program aimed at helping the army and police to maintain security and stability and the formation of security forces unified to meet the security challenges.
At the same time, the incident highlights the importance of the UAE role before the withdrawal in security. Somalia has not seen similar incidents in training centers, where the UAE has been an important contributor to supporting stability and development and creating conditions for a safer environment in a conflict-torn country.
Soldiers and residents said the incident was serious as a group of soldiers tried to storm a training center used by the UAE before completing a training program there.
The clash is an indication of the difficulty of restructuring a unified security force in a country whose central authority collapsed in 1991 and at a time when the government, backed by the international community elected last year, faces major challenges.
The Somali government is unable to prevent the disarming of arms and its inability to confront militant groups, especially the radical Somali al-Shabab movement, which is loyal to al-Qaeda.
The hardline movement has split into two groups that have been loyal to al-Qaeda while the other have pledged an organization that would further exacerbate the impasse of the central government, even unable to protect its strongholds in Mogadishu.
The shooting incident is another sign of the consequences of the involvement of the government of President Mohammad Abdullah Faramago in the Turkish axis.
The UAE has trained hundreds of Somali soldiers since 2014 as part of an effort backed by the African Union’s military mission to stop the advance of radical Islamists and secure the country for a government backed by Western countries, Turkey and the United Nations. But the government apparently chose to align itself with Turkey Horn of Africa.
The official Somali position, which caused a deep split in the Somali arena, had to end the UAE training program in the event of a state of paranoia for the role of the UAE by the government of Framajo.
The UAE ended its training program in Somalia this month in response to the looting of millions of dollars by Somali security forces for the salaries of soldiers and briefly held by a UAE plane.
“Some Somali army forces attacked us at the base and wanted to loot them, but we have responded to its attack,” said Ahmed Nur, one of the soldiers who received training under the unfinished program.
A Somali journalist at the scene said the presidential palace guards had secured al-Qaeda after 90 minutes of intermittent firing.
Another soldier who received training from the UAE, Abdulrahman Abdullah, said some of the soldiers who had received the training had fled.
“My colleagues jumped over the wall and fled with their weapons, others left their weapons and fled, so I had to flee as well,” he said.
Residents in the area said they saw soldiers removing their uniforms and fleeing the facility in three-wheeled vehicles with their weapons.
The region of Puntland, a semi-independent in Somalia, urged on April 17 the UAE not to end security operations in the region after the dispute raised by Mogadishu, which chose to engage in political axis pushed by some Arab countries, which has become a threat to its security and stability.
“We are not only asking our Emirati friends to stay but also redouble their efforts to help Somalia stand on its own feet,” said the office of the head of Puntland, located at the tip of the Horn of Africa and overseeing the Gulf of Aden. He pointed out in this context that the UAE is an important ally in fighting militants, warning in a statement issued late yesterday, that ending the support of the UAE “will help our enemy only, especially the youth movement and the organization is calling.”
Puntland’s comments come amid warnings of a strong return to terrorism in Somalia, where the central government is unable to provide security and confront the militant al Shabaab group. The capital Mogadishu and other areas have been subjected to bloody attacks adopted by young Somali mostly, and is expected to increase the frequency of terrorist attacks with the entry of the central government in the policy of political axes.
The UAE’s withdrawal from Somalia as a result of the choice of the Somali central government to encircle the Turkish axis, which is surrounded by many suspicions, exacerbated the crisis in Somalia where the development and humanitarian assistance of the UAE was an important factor in supporting development and stability and alleviating the suffering of millions of Somalis.