@THE-EAST-AFRICAN

Gulf meddling in Somali politics is in no-one’s best interests - 10 months ago, 14 June 13:33

Rashid Abdi

One year ago, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their allies severed diplomatic relations with Qatar. Their rivalry has turned Somalia, one of the Horn’s most fragile states, into a proxy battleground for the Gulf monarchies.

This has aggravated Somalia’s already fractious domestic politics, worsening Mogadishu’s relations with its federal states and the breakaway region of Somaliland.

Long adept at manipulating foreign involvement, Somali politicians across the spectrum have exploited the escalating rivalries for their own ends. All sides urgently need to step back to prevent events from taking a darker turn.

Following the June 2017 split within the Gulf Co-operation Council, newly elected Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” faced intense Saudi and Emirati pressure, reportedly pushing him to cut all political ties with Qatar. Farmajo refused, claiming that he preferred Somalia to remain neutral.

But for the UAE, reports that the president had received Qatari support ahead of the election ...
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