The United Arab Emirates recently issued a statement expressing grave concern over the situation in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, due to the violence and excessive use of force against civilians. At least five soldiers were killed and more than a dozen people, mostly civilians, were wounded on Friday in violent protests over the country’s delayed election.
Commenting on recent clashes between Somali government forces and opposition groups, the UAE statement accused Somalia of using excessive force against civilians and called its government an “interim government.”
This statement, however, was met with backlash from the Somali government.
“The UAE statement is inconsistent with international diplomacy, brotherly relations between the two countries, and Arab culture. It also violates bilateral fellowship” said Osman Dubbe, Somali’s Minister of Information in a press conference at Mogadishu. “The United Arab Emirates wants Somalia to be like Yemen and Libya and wants to create in Somalia displacement, violence, and backwardness, and that is something the Somali people are wary of,” he added.
“Presidential candidates chose to circumnavigate the process in order to pursue a path of illegality and armed insurrection disguised as a peaceful demonstration guaranteed under our constitution,” said a Somali Foreign Ministry statement, also warning unnamed foreign actors against making “misleading” statements that at times “appear to be supporting insurrection.”
Dubbe strongly criticized the UAE’s stance against the country. “The UAE does not seem to recognize the Somalian government and considers it temporary. The UAE Foreign Ministry statement does not reflect the depth of relations between the two countries and is contrary to diplomatic customs and international law,” he said.
He further added that elections are the internal affairs of the country and no one is allowed to interfere in Somalia’s domestic issues.