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10 important things you need to know about the Somaliland-UAE military base deal

UAE SOMALILAND MILITARY BASE BERBERA INDIAN OCEAN
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, H.H Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan greeting the UAE's armed forces. Photo source: www.uaeinteract.com

The United Arab Emirates has just been granted permission by Somaliland’s parliament to establish a military base in the port town of Berbera. Details of the  agreement, between the Government of the Republic of Somaliland and the Government of the UAE has finally surfaced after months of being kept under the wraps. Here are ten important things you need to know about the agreement.

  1. The Government of the Republic of Somaliland has leased an undisclosed amount of land to the UAE in the northern part of Berbera city – close to the shores of the Gulf of Aden. The UAE will build their own port for the military base. All military equipment to arrive through the their port will be exempt from taxes.
  2.  The UAE’s military will have full access to Berbera International Airport.
  3. The lease agreement between both countries is valid for 25 years – and will come into full effect when both governments officially sign the agreement. After 25 years, the military base and all investments made by the UAE will be taken over by the Government of the Republic of Somaliland.
  4. The military base can not be used by any other country except the UAE and can not be sub-leased by either the Government of the Republic of Somaliland or the Government of the United Arab Emirates. The agreement also states that the military base can not be used for any other purpose outside of the agreement.
  5. The UAE will implement the following projects in Somaliland: a modern highway between Berbera and the border town of Wajaale, a modern renovation of Berbera International Airport for civillian and cargo flights, and numerous social development projects (Education, Health, Energy & Water) for the citizens of Somaliland.
  6. The UAE will provide job opportunities for Somaliland’s citizens during the 25-year stay. The UAE will also ease travel barriers for Somaliland’s citizens.
  7. The UAE will provide full cooperation with the Republic Somaliland on matters relating to Somaliland’s national security. This includes: cooperation on protecting Somaliland’s waters from illegal activities at sea (piracy, waste dumping etc).
  8. The UAE pledges to the respect the rights and independence of Somaliland’s citizens and promises to not conduct any activities that will put Somaliland’s national security at risk. The UAE also will also be fully responsible for preserving and protecting the current equipment and construction of Berbera International Airport.
  9. The Government of the Republic of Somaliland is not responsible for any natural disaster that might affect the implementation and/or activities of the military base. In the event of a natural disaster, both governments will jointly provide necessary relief efforts.
  10. In the event of a dispute, both governments will be given 30 days to resolve the dispute. If the dispute is not resolved within 30 days, the dispute will be arbitrated by the London Court International Arbitration (LCIA). Both Governments also have the absolute right seek a dissolution agreement. If one side does not want to dissolve the agreement, the case will be heard by the London Court of International Arbitration.
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