Somalia to halt UAE funding for troops as relations sour

As relations with the United Arab Emirates sour over the seizure of millions of dollars in cash, Somalia announced on Wednesday it would end UAE funding for its armed forces.
Defence Minister Mohamed Mursal’s comments to reporters came shortly after the UAE condemned what it called an “illegal” move by Somalia to seize $9.6m from an aircraft at the Mogadishu airport over the weekend.
The UAE’s state news agency, WAM, said some of the 47 Emirati Armed Forces personnel on the plane were held at gunpoint and assaulted by Somali security forces. The money was allocated to support the Somali army and trainees, WAM reported.
“The UAE deplores this violation of international law and norms at a time when the UAE has provided all kinds of political, economic, military and humanitarian support in the darkest conditions to establish security and stability” in Somalia, the foreign ministry statement carried on WAM said.
Somalia’s government has dismissed such reports.
It announced the seizure on Sunday, saying security forces boarded the plane and discovered three unmarked bags of cash during routine checks. A security ministry statement said the bags were full of US dollars and an investigation was underway to determine why they had been smuggled into the country.

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