Somalia Official: Somaliland – UAE Deal Corrupt and Illegal

Controversial Somaliland - UAE Deal
Somalia’s Auditor General accused President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo of Somaliland and Somalia’s former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of accepting bribes in exchange for illegally backing the controversial UAE military base deal with Somalialnd.

By Mohamed Olad Hassan | VOA News

Officials in Somalia and breakaway Somaliland took bribes in exchange for authorizing a United Arab Emirates military base in the port city of Berbera, according to Somalia’s auditor general.

Auditor General Nur Jimale Farah is one of several observers questioning the propriety of the UAE base deal, which Somaliland’s parliament overwhelmingly approved on Sunday.

In an interview with VOA’s Somali service, Jimale accused senior officials in Somaliland and the government of Somalia’s former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of backing the deal for the sake of “illegitimate private gains.”

He also questioned Somaliland’s right to reach an agreement with the UAE.

Somaliland considers itself independent from Somalia, but is not recognized by any country.

“The deal has none of the legal provisions needed and did not go through Somalia’s legitimate public procurement, financial institutions and the parliament. Therefore, it is corrupted and illegal,” Jimale said.

“We know that individuals within the leadership of Somalia and Somaliland were invited to Dubai and that they were corrupted with bags full of cash to sign the agreement,” he added.

Deal looked ‘very secretive’

Jimale would not specify the individuals allegedly involved in the deal, and VOA could not independently verify the allegations.

Somaliland’s representative to the UAE, Bashe Awil Omer, denied the bribery accusation. “It is baseless and we categorically deny it,” he told VOA. “If they have an evidence for such allegation, they should show to the public.”

Speaking to VOA on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on this issue, a senior official in Somalia’s foreign ministry refused to deny or confirm the corruption allegations, but said neither the ministry nor the Somali cabinet was given a chance to discuss the UAE deal.

“We heard about the deal, which looked very secretive,” the official said. “It was not brought before the cabinet and the foreign ministry office. When we asked about it, we were told that the president and the prime minister’s offices were dealing with it.”

Abdiwahab Abdisamad, an independent Nairobi-based Horn of Africa analyst, said he also heard the agreement got a secret green light from the outgoing Mohamud administration.

“As the reliable sources we are getting from the ground indicate, before Somaliland, authorities within the administration of the former head of state Hassan Sheikh Mohamud signed the agreement and Somaliland put it into vote at its parliament, only to send a message that it is a Somaliland project rather than a Somalia project,” Abdisamad said.

Somaliland’s Wadani and OCID opposition parties have described the agreement as illegal and unconstitutional.

Strategic Importance of Base

The agreement calls for the UAE to operate a base in Berbera for 25 years. Previously, Somaliland signed a deal with a UAE international port operator DP World. That deal would upgrade the port of Berbera, the largest in Somaliland.

Being part of a coalition that has been fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, the UAE already has a military facility at Eritrea’s Assab port for use. The Berbera base, which is only 90 kilometers from the shores of Yemen, will help it tighten the coalition blockade on the rebels.

Somali analysts say the base will be less of a headache for the UAE than the one in Eritrea, which is under United Nations sanctions.

Speaking at the parliament session, Somaliland’s President Ahmed Silanyo said that the military base would benefit Somaliland and help create jobs.

In an interview with VOA on Monday, Somaliland Aviation Minister Farhan Adan Haybe said the deal has gone through all the Somaliland legal channels and therefore would be valid.

“The base is on a lease. It can’t be used by any other nation except the UAE, and can’t be subleased.” Haybe told VOA.

However, Jimale called on the UAE to back out of the deal, saying it violated Somalia’s national and territorial integrity.

“UAE has already violated our national sovereignty and airspace because of its plans to come to Somaliland without paying air space tax and without the permission of Somalia’s legitimate government,” Jimale said. “We ask UAE to respect the international code of conduct.”

59 thoughts on “Somalia Official: Somaliland – UAE Deal Corrupt and Illegal

  1. Hassan sheikh mohamud was a thief and corrupted scum bag I hope Farmajo makes this UAE military base null and void, and also UAE should be kicked out from Mogadishu.

    1. You may suggest to kick UAE from Mogadishu if you can survive for even a day without the help of the foreign governments currently helping you breath. But you have no say on the fate of UAE and Somaliland collaborations.

    2. Mr. Farmaajo is NOT the ideal Mayor for a city like Mogadishu.

      Mayor Farmaajo will not have an easy time running the Mogadishu local government as is evidences by the fact that mortart struck his local government compound minutes after the ceremony.

      2017-2019 are likely to be an unptecedented AL.SHABAAB expansion faze. This is the most realistic analysis of the situation based on Western Regional Analysts mapping and projections.I tend to trust those experts.

  2. What I was all along stating in this discussion forum has been confirmed by other sources. I was saying that the deal has been signed by former Somali president Hassan Sheikh and Somaliland signature and parliamentary approval is just a show.

    Of course the process has been corrupt since it has not undergone proper processes of state assets privatization, foreign military basing process and approved by Somali parliament. Reality is Somali good governance structures are weak. Lots of corruption going around. The Auditor-General role is not to discuss political issue but only to point out if the process is illegal according to Somali laws and is corrupt. Military basing and if an assets are privatized or not is a political issue dealt with by executive arm of state.

    I doubt Farmajo will stop this. Maybe there will be little changes if there is any change to it. It will be brought to parliament since UAE will want legal protection for its massive investment and Farmajo cannot ignore public opinion that want processes to be respected.

    Somali airspace and territorial sovereignty has not been violated by UAE because Somalia is part of the Arab coalition against Houthis. Approval has been given by government which is executive decision. Auditor-General is interfering outside of his brief, period.

    1. Too late, Somalis are their own enemies and they knew this was coming but they buried their head in the sand; remember it is not only UAE but also Ethiopia pillaging and violating the Somalia, Somalis chose to believe and depend on outsiders instead of making peace with their own kins and cousins. All the best for 2 or 4 Somalia’s’ to be formed in the near future.

        1. “The deal has none of the legal provisions needed and did not go through Somalia’s legitimate public procurement, financial institutions and the parliament. Therefore, it is corrupted and illegal,” Jimale said.
          In deed if there were this laws governing engagments of matter of national interest (in this case somaliland, which is autonomouse in its own eyes but the international community???)this should be void and null

          1. I agree but you need to realize the parliament term ended in September last year and seized its operation sometime in August last year. There was no parliament to present to and the government had no legitimacy to approve new agreements. So now there is new parliament constituted. If after the new PM is approved and he forms his government and he doesn’t not present to the parliament in the near future then we can say it is null and void.

            Lets wait and see in the next three months. In Somalia, laws are presented to parliament by the PM, not the president. President is only head of state and commander of the armed forces. Lets not rush.

    2. With all due respect, your argument does not make sense to me.

      You indicated that Auditor General is there to simply ensure such agreement have followed the standard political procedures. And then you stated that the Auditor General is “outside of his brief” for pointing out the corruption aspect of the agreement.

      As you know, political corruption is a manipulation of the political actors and procedure/rules. So, when the Auditor General stated deal is corrupt and therefore illegal, he is only stating the obvious: rules/procedures have been compromised.

      Clearly, one can’t simply separate a political act/agreement from the very procedure/rules that makes legal.

      Wouldn’t you agree?

      1. If you re-read the article again you will see the Auditor-General is talking about the good governance rules have not been followed but also he discusses political/military issues i.e. UAE violating airspace. AG is within his brief to discuss if the laws were not followed when this agreement has been given but he has no role to discuss military issues like Arab coalition using Somali airspace to fight Houthis. Government gave proper permission and it was open. This is cabinet issue of military nature not issue of good governance. This is my point.

        I agree with AG that this deal was corrupt. But I have watched his press conference where he went outside his brief. AG post is not political.

    3. Believe what ever you want but Somaliland is making its own call for its own issues. I suggest Mogadishu does the same for its own issues.

      1. If so-called Somaliland is making its own call please present to us the agreement signed between Somaliland and UAE officials. Whether you like it or not President Hassan Sheikh signed it for you. You do not exist in international system so take a back seat behind Somalia which does represent you. However you cry loud this fact does not change. Kabish!

    4. first of all there is no govt in somalia or in Mogadishu there are a group of gangs who steal aid money . somaliland no part of that amisom ethiopian colony calles zumalia. second there are no reps from somaliland in xamar. the preisdent is darod the prime minister is hawiye the speakers its digil.mirifle. the main isaaq clan of somaliland one of the most powerful clans in somaliland and north eastern Ethiopia get less than the.5 and they say somalilanders are represented non of the small traitors in mogadishu can set foot in somaliland they know it to

      1. Why don’t we talk about TPLF thugs cleaning dry Ethiopian wealth in Addis? What about the minority rule of Tigrai? Do not discuss issues you have no clue about and is beyond your mental capacity. Changing names will not raise your IQ

    1. What the world calls “Somalia’s president” Somalis call
      “the mayor of Mogadishu”.

      And the irony of the statement is that the mayor(president to foreigners) does not even control the capital city let alone anyother town or city.

      1. Blah blah blah. TPLF cadre come and visit Mogadishu and see who is in control. You will not last a minute.

        Peaceful transfer of power and Somalia rising again is eating you inside. This is my day.

        1. Does Somaliland have representatives in the Mogadishu government? If it doesn’t, then I don’t see how the Mogadishu government could behave as if it represents Somaliland interests.

          1. Yes they do. Few examples, speaker of senate, supreme court judge, deputy prime minister, ministers of foreign affairs, justice, information, ports, civil aviation etc , ambassadors and the commander of Somali national army is from northern regions aka. Somaliland. They have minimum of over 50 MPs from those regions.

            In Somalia they have their fair share of power as power sharing is ensured through clan quotas which the four major clans get equal share and the fifth small one gets half.

            The few secessionists are foreign puppets supported from outside to divide the Somali nation. Same as foreign supported puppets in Syria. Somalia is raising again and they know their time is up.

          2. If I bribe and put an Eritrean in the Mogadishu “gov” does that mean Mogadishu represents Eritrea?

            No it does not.

            $90 000 000 dollars(ninty million US dollars) of aid money for year 2016 is missing in Mogadishu as was announced yesterday.

            Mogadishu is the biggest thief of European and American tax payer money.

            All the good that money could have done in Somaliland, Yemen, Syria, instead it went down the corruption drain in Mogadishu. Mogadishu is a waste of time and money, a testimony to all the ills of the human soul is Mogadishu. I will not miss it.

          3. My friend you do not have a clue of clan representation. You can’t bribe through our clan system. Election of president is another issue.

            Woyane stop speaking for the West. What about the aid hoe in Addis.

  3. Somaliland is the only civilized state from the former Somalia which is actually in control of its affairs. It is only place with sane government and modern system. The infant government in Mogadishu can’t even control the “mayor-president’s” house. How on earth can Mogadishu asks to be involved in important decisions Somaliland has to make for itself. On the contrary, Mogadishu should consult the civilized parliament of Somaliland for their friendly opinion whenever the new diaspora mayor gets confused to make certain important decisions.

      1. Bravo. They dont understand somalis are one.

        If Somaliland is independent or not it does not change that they are Somalis just like Jabuuti. They will and must support us in Somalia incase of foreign aggression. So I support the military base. Somali penninsula are for Somalis not etopia and yugandiya.

        i am from Mogadishu i support arab have base in north.(somalileen). And this is somal issue not kinya and itobia have say so.capich? No more neighbor involveded in Somalia again. Its over now.

        1. Yes indeed. They don’t understand. They think political differences transcends to cultural, economical, social or religious aspects. Foreigners do not get Somali issues. They think Somalis in the south hate progress in Somaliland but we only disagree at the political level. I am happy for Somaliland in any progress they make. Even if they separate nothing changes as we are all Somalis and we are mixed deeply in every aspect.

          1. Exactly. Lets clarify something to non-Somalis.

            Somaliland already is separate from Somalia if we are talking about having a different government. They was like that since 1991.

            BUT understand that Somalis as a people can not separate, we intermarry, do business together and share culture, travel and work to all Somali areas etc. We can have different governments like Djibouti(independent since 1977) or Ogadenia(Ethiopia) but Somalis never have been separated as a people.

            NFD is in Kenya but Somalis there are not separated from Somalis in Somalia. Ogadenia is in Ethiopia but Somalis there are not separated from Djibouti Somaliland or even Jubbaland in Somalia.

            Personally I think good if we in Somalia recognise Somaliland then foreign will have no chance play this game between Somalis like today.

            Only chance enemy of somalis is over when Mogadishu and hargeisa make peace. Things will change president Farmaajo got BIG support to stop foreign meddling somali affairs. Its over for somali enemies. You willl see.

  4. I really wish the newly elected president would be able govern from the center in order to bring the much needed funds and build his country but I am afraid, some of these nationalist would pull him to the far right which makes it impossible to get along with Somaliland as well as the neighbors who would be providing security and train forces. Somaliland has managed to negotiate its own deals is nothing new but it might be hard to swallow for some advocating for united Somalia. Since they are also one big family with the Arabs, you can ask for airspace tax or any other funds but undermining it as corrupt is not responsible. Somaliland has been peaceful since 91 and please let them be regardless of one union or as an independent nation.

    1. Bull….Somaliland was peaceful since 1991. Man go read the history of the civil war raging since late 1990s in the north. All over Somalia stability started from late 1997. This shows me you have no clue of the happenings in Somalia.

      You so obsessed of your wet dream Somaliland. But it is just a dream and wake up from it.

      You say Somaliland managed to negotiate its own deals. Please provide evidence of any deals it has officially negotiated and signed? Let me help you, mama Somalia is always there.

      Repeating your alternative facts won’t make it a reality. A piece of advice…re-read the article above.

      1. You don’t like facts at all, do you Trump? The Somaliland issue is not for Ethiopians to be obsessed about but we would like to see the people making a decision, not the warlords. We have an excellent relationship and we would like that to continue without any other interference but that Siad Barre attitude that led you into civil war should not be repeated. That all I’m saying. The deal they got from UAE doesn’t have any $$$ going to the central government and you are asking me for evidence? The last discussion, you made it sound like Ethiopia was not sleeping cuz of this so called base but it’s your nationalist barking here, not us. Please read it again.

        1. You have no business in Somalia. The issue of the north is between Somalis and it is between them to decided their future. No one need your advice and keep it to yourself. I am unequivocally telling you to butt off or the Somali saying, “only a bullet (not words) can enter an Amhara’s head”, will come true. First fix your hungry and divided Abyssinia first.

          Wake up from your delusions, sick Ethiopia had no role in the ports, highway and military base deal. You say no money goes to the central government, please provide us evidence of the treaty which states your wet dream Somaliland only gets the money?

          Ethiopia not sleeping, yes in deep sleep. You wanna claim going to space even…Alas you have already claimed that in Tigrai constructing a rocket for space research. Shameless punch.

          1. Lol. You are a funny shabo pretending to be Somali sir. What Somali gets mad about the space program? Wtf? Why does it make you mad Somaliland wants to live peacefully with us? What part of that bad news exactly? It’s benefits both people and it’s a win win. The central government can handle simple security and trust me, my people are ready to come home, just say when or your military is ready to secure one single city perimeter, just one? I wish you had that kind of love when your uncles were sending kids on a sucide mission. Crazy bunch.

          2. Remember we are also living in the Horn so we are aware of your grandiose claims and lies. I do not need to be Eritrean to know what is going on in Ethiopia.

            Somaliland issue is Somali issue. My problem with you is interfering our internal affairs and you insisting I accept it. Man you have never made me accept you for over a millennia even with your Western powers support. Habash we know each other very well.

            My friend AMISOM troops are not all over Somalia. Over 60% of AMISOM troops are only within 300 KM of Mogadishu. Who do you think all other cities and territories of Somalia is controlled by., let me help you Somali troops Dude wake from you wild claims. You do not hold the sky for Somalis.

          3. Somalia(Mogadishu) claims it will unite the Somali territorries into a Greater Somalia.

            Djibouti(1), Somaliland(2), NFD in Kenya(3)and Somali region of Ethiopia(4) will all come under Mogadisu’s rule in the pipedream of Somalia.

            President(mayor) Farmaajo came to power with that slogan Greater Somalia yet Mogadishu is not even under his control let alone anywhere else.

            Like an Eritrean said on TN:
            “not so fast Somalia, not so fast”. Learn to crawl before you run.

          4. Woyane stop propagandizing against Farmajo with your lies. He didn’t even talked about Great Somali.

            What Farmajo does with Somalia is his business and Somali people. Butt off.

          5. Stop lying. Your lies and cries won’t change facts on ground….Somalia is raising again. We are moving ahead and we don’t have time for haters.

    2. Sentiko, why it is hard for your people to understand you are the main problem in Somalia, that is everywhere in Somalia. I wish you spent all their energy in managing the millions of WOyane made hungry Ethiopians.

      1. IQ, aleka? How can we honestly be a problem when we only brought free and fair election to the people? I know your people are allergic to that word but maybe next year? I will pray for you and the beautiful Eritrean people, as always.

        1. My IQ? I probably could single handily feed one of your Ugumesh villages.

          I won’t call it election, until you teach the Somali officials how to win 100% of the votes.

          1. how many warsay can you feed i you divide your welfare to 500 Nakfa?? how many warsay families will you be able to feed, you should also see things that way, as a supporter of the biggest loser government of Africa….

        2. I tend to agree with the Eritrean view that Ethiopia was

          1. Wrong in invading Somalia

          2. Wrong in propping up an unpopular “gov” in Somalia

          3. Wrong in assuming Somalia would be greatful to Ethiopia(Somalis fight eachhother but they hate foreign meddling according to Western anthropologists that have studied their culture closely).


          The end result of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Somalia adventure is huge revival.of anti-Ethiopia and anti-Kenya sentiment and a new “gov” in Somalia(Mogadishu) openly and indirectly through news media calling for Greater Somalia to be revived. This is a very dangerous idea. Cries about Somaliland’s good relation with Ethiopia are being painted in Somalia(Mogadishu) as a crime of the highest order against “Somaliness” whatever that means.

          War can be pushed back perhaps a year at most but no mistakes about it a war between [Ethiopia/Kenya/Djibouti/Somaliland] against [Somalia] is coming the way things are going. Somalia must be destroyed and tamed before it comes to its senses. In Kenya we understand this and are preparing accordingly.

          1. Somaliness means being born Somali by blood and natural union of our nation under one flag. Your Kenya is a fake nation created by UK. You have no sense of nationhood. You sound to be like the black American searching for identity.

            War…man you cannot even defend your troops from Shabaab. What do you think if the war is whole of Somalis.

            Nothing will happen and Somalia will focus on its internal affairs to rebuild. Nothing you can do about this. Somalis have risen up. What you could not have done during Somalia’s time lacking a government what can you do now. Wake up from you Tursky bombe.

          2. Boy, not only do I disagree but your entire assessment is dead wrong. What exactly means before they come to their senses? Ethiopia wishes strong progressive Somalia, that’s it. Ethiopia doesn’t need a thank you but they have stupid nationalist who wouldn’t hesitate to take their country to war cuz someone forgot to pray or women not covering enough and of course, Ethiopia is the enemy drumbeat. So long as they don’t go after Somaliland by force, attack Djibouti or host our opposition, we wish them best and work on mutual respect. The new president is for sure promising. Nothing to worry about

          3. Lolz. So now you wanna claim president Farmajo. I wait the day you say Somalia is Tigrai like you said Wolkait is Tigrai.

            Please if you want to propagandize against Somalia at least learn what you are talking about. Somali nationalist are not Wahabi fanatics who are concerned about a women covering her head or if someone has prayed. Its pointless to discuss with low IQ.

  5. @Sentek
    You should be the last person talking about my beloved country, did you forgot You are homeless dirty shame squatting in Oromia land?

  6. This proofs that the deal was officially between just between Somaliland and UAE. And Mogadishu and othe neighboring countries are doing nothing but just whining about it.
    Strong stand by Somaliland !

  7. @Mahammed

    I consider the rebels group EPLF as the biggest threat facing the Somali speaking family in horn, remember not long ago Eritrea was supporting terrorists groups in somalia, Asmera even said the arabs and Asians jihadis terrorists who invaded Somalia should participate the peace process, also Eritrea invaded our sisterly country Djibouti and are arming and funding Amhara extremists who are threatening the Ethiopian Somalis.

    1. Are you now labeling Eritrea as an enemy of Somalia? You Warlord are the most stand-less person ever. You should know where you stand. It is psychotic ppl like you in Mogadishu who created mess for a better part of fify decades in Somalia. We don’t want to be associated with you. Somaliland is better off.

      1. He’s saying crazy stuff to get attention. I noticed, every time he does not get responses to his multiple comments in this forum, the follows up with outrageous statements about Eritrea.

        It’s possible he might be bipolar too.

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