situation report

Somalia: UAE Abandons Plan to Construct Military Airbase in Somaliland, Official Says

1 MIN READSep 16, 2019 | 17:40 GMT

What Happened: The United Arab Emirates has abandoned plans to construct a military airbase in the semi-autonomous region of Somaliland, according to Muse Bihi Abdi, Somaliland's president, Reuters reported Sept. 15.

Why It Matters: The decision, if confirmed by Abu Dhabi, marks a significant reversal of Emirati ambitions to establish a presence in the Gulf of Aden and suggests that the country may be scaling down its plans.

Background: The United Arab Emirates started construction of an airbase in Somaliland in 2017 to aid its military intervention in the Yemeni civil war. Abu Dhabi withdrew large parts of its armed forces from the conflict in Yemen earlier this year, although it continues to support certain factions in their fight against terrorist groups and the government of President Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi.

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