UAE ends training mission for Somali army following plane incident

UAE ends training mission for Somali army

DUBAI, April 15 (Xinhua) — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) said on Sunday its armed forces will disband its mission to train the Somalian army after a UAE civil airliner jet was seized by the Somalian authority at Mogadishu airport carrying cash allocated to support the Somalian army, UAE state news agency reported on Sunday.

The decision came after Somalia seized an Emirati aircraft and 9.6 million U.S. dollars in cash at Mogadishu airport on April 10.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that 47 members of the Emirati armed forces were onboard the aircraft when it was seized by Somali authorities “at gunpoint.”

Some Somali security members reportedly disrespected the passengers and seized 9.6 million U.S. dollars in cash that were originally allocated to support the Somali army and trainees.

The act is “illegal and violates diplomatic traditions and norms between countries, and is a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the UAE and Somalia,” according to the UAE ministry.

The MoU, signed in November 2014, is on military cooperation between the two sides, and included the allocation of funds to the East African country.

Bilateral relations between the UAE and Somalia have been deteriorating since March 13 when Somalia banned UAE ports operator DP World, the world’s third biggest container port operator, from operating in its country.

The ban followed Somalia’s claims that DP World had no right to sign a contract with the breakaway region of Somaliland to establish a port zone in Berberaa located at the coast of the Gulf of Aden.

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