Somalilandsun – The Horn of Africa is strategically important for a number of reasons, amongst others because it allows both power projection into the Middle East and influence over the Suez Canal through the Gulf of Aden.
For Russia which is currently missing out in the Horn the development of a military facility in Somaliland could be seen as an attempt to build a blue-water navy as well as project its growing global powers.
Russia is reportedly negotiating with Somaliland leaders for a naval base to support its warships and submarines to operate in the region and the busy shipping lanes carrying most of Europe’s goods. If realized, this would be Russia’s first base in Africa since the Cold War and be a major step forward for Putin’s programme to revive Russia’s once proud navy. The base is expected to be home to two destroyer-sized ships, four frigate class ships, two large submarine pens, two airstrips that can host up to six heavy aircraft and 15 fighter jets.
It is reported the naval base would be staffed by 1 500 people and service destroyers, frigates and submarines. The rumoured location of the base is outside Zeila city, in Somaliland. It is also on the border with Djibouti – near the location of China’s first overseas base in modern times, which opened last year. As the US and China both have military facilities in Djibouti, it should not be a surprise that Russia would want facilities there too.Shares startup ideas
In a article titled The return of Russia to Africa, published by the Herald, Russia is enticing Somaliland with cherished sovereignty recognition which has been elusive for the 27 years since it withdrew from its 1960 voluntary later turned fateful union with Somalia.
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