DECLARATION OF WADDANI PARTY REGARDING ITS POSITION TOWARDS GRANTING A MILITARY BASE TO THE UAE AT BERBERA
Somalilandsun- The WADDANI Party after, serious deliberations on the decision of the Somaliland Government to grant a military base to UAE at Berbera, comes to the conclusion that it is not the best interest of Somaliland and therefore rejects it. The base will encompass a 4.14 Km airport, the longest in Africa, and an area of 70km square adjacent to seashore.
The WADDANI Party reject the base mindful of following possible repercussions which such a base will have on Somaliland sovereignty and security:
1) It will mean importing serious geopolitical and religion-based conflicts between major countries in Middle East and North East Africa. Somaliland has shielded itself from becoming an active party in these conflicts and the WADDANI Party opposes any attempt from within Somaliland or from an outside party to drag us into these conflicts.
2) Somaliland is a neighbor to Yemen, has a long history of cultural and trade interaction and currently hosts substantial refugee population in its territory. Somaliland so far remained non-partisan to the Yemeni conflict and has successfully avoided spillover of its multifaceted hostilities into its territory. Therefore, the WADDANI party is convinced allowing a military base in our soil to a country which is an active party in that conflict is against the interest of Somaliland people and state. It is a breach of its non-partisan stance and shall expose it to serious security risks, considering Somaliland’sproximity to the war zone and also the possibility of being exposed to opposing parties’ proxy wars.
3) The UAE has not changed its staunch stand against Somaliland reclamation of its sovereignty and its quest for international recognition. Furthermore, the UAE is a significant player in the stabilization of Somalia and its political leadership dynamics. Therefore, a military force controlling the most vital strategic assets of Somaliland in Berbera, could be a real danger to Somaliland sovereignty and its aspiration for international recognition, as long as the UAE continues to deny Somaliland independence.
4) Somaliland is a neighbor with Ethiopia, has a friendly bilateral relationship, a functioning security cooperation, a growing economic relationship as well as a shared population and along peaceful but porous border. The WADDANI Party believe such a military base can have a negative impact on such a vital relationship, and therefore is not in the best interest of Somaliland.
Therefore, the WADDANI Party:
1) Calls for the Somaliland Government to refrain from going ahead with this decision to grant the above-mentioned military base to the UAE, which we believe will undermine the Somaliland sovereignty and its quest for international recognition.
2) The WADDANI Party urges the UAE not to push this deal. The Somaliland people believe to be in a disadvantageous negotiating position and that in this relationship, there are no proper safeguards to their national interest.
3) The WADDANI Party calls for Somaliland legislative Houses and its people to be united against any act or decision which undermines the sovereignty of Somaliland.
THE Secreatary General of WADDANI Party.