Somalia: Mogadisho President Plans to Lease Berbera Airport to UAE

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of Somalia [REUTERS]

The president of Somalia Mr. Hassan Sheikh Mohammad is in the process of leasing the Berbera International Airport, which falls under the jurisdiction of Somaliland to the UAE military. According to   reliable sources informed the Horn Newspaper that Somalia’s president recently sent his Foreign Minister Mr. Abdisalan Hadliye to convince the Gulf state to pay him money for permission to strike a deal with the Somaliland government. The report stated that the Somalia president claimed that it was his constitutional  right to grant or deny permission to any country seeking to do business  in Somalia.

He also requested the UAE ambassador in Mogadishu to facilitate the deal. In this respect Mr. Hassan Sheikh wants to dupe the UAE government into signing the bogus deal; so that they believe he is in control of Somaliland, then ask them to sign a second agreement with Somaliland. There is no official communiqué from the UAE government pertaining Somalia’s president’s proposal.

In another development this week, a  UAE  military  plane  touched down at Berbera International Airport, on board were some military officers. They were received at the airport by UAE government officials who were already in the country and the Somaliland Office of the President officials  sent from Hargeisa to meet the visitors. There was no official statement from the meeting between the two governments.

The Horn Newspaper endeavours to get information about the agenda of the meeting from top government official proved futile.

The president of Somaliland H.E Ahmed Mohammed, Mohammud (Silanyo) is expected to fly  out  tothe UAE later this week, however the intention of his visit remains an enigma.

The UAE government has a good working relationship with Somaliland even though it does not have an embassy in Hargeisa whereas in Somalia it has  an ambassador. Somaliland government maintains a representative in Dubai.