Mogadishu – Somaliland, a self-declared republic, has agreed to host a military base of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Berbera, a member of the autonomous Somali region’s parliament said on Monday.
Parliament voted in favour of the agreement, which allows the UAE to use the base located in the port and airport for 25 years, said the legislator, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Somaliland President Ahmed Silanyo said the agreement would create jobs and other benefits during the parliamentary session over the weekend.
However, a handful of legislators who voted against the agreement argued that it violated Somaliland’s sovereignty and could favour regional military rivalries by foreign powers.
The UAE already has a military facility in the Eritrean port of Assab, allegedly for use against Yemeni rebels.
Somaliland, with 3.5 million residents, has its own government, currency, army and constitution, but Somalia regards it as part of its territory.