The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its allies, including notorious Blackwater private militia founder Erik Prince, continue to pursue acts of sabotage against Somalia.
It has been a long-standing Western policy to keep Somalia impoverished and destabilized and they have found in the UAE a reliable agent to achieve their aims. The brazenness they have shown in pursuing the schemes of sowing chaos in East Africa is normally found among common outlaws.
The UAE is working on a two-pronged policy in Somalia and neighboring countries. It is helping its Western allies to secure their neocolonial aims in the region while furiously advancing its own vital economic interests.
Dubai-based port management company DP World is a crucial part of this strategy. The U.S. military trusts DP World more than any other company in facilitating port calls and other logistics services. Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port is a major facility used by the U.S. military and it works in Western interests to encourage DP World’s ambitious expansion into new territories.
On the strategic Horn of Africa, Djibouti was an early success for DP World when it secured a concession in 2006 to operate the Doraleh Container Terminal. But the UAE suffered a setback when Djibouti’s government terminated the deal this year, alleging the company used illegal methods and corruption to secure the contract.
Another accusation against Dubai is that it undermined the Djibouti port’s development to maintain the competitive edge of Jebel Ali, which is facing a threat to its supremacy from Qatar’s new Hamad Port, Iran’s Chabahar and Gwadar in Pakistan.
The combined impact of these three ports will end Jebel Ali’s role as a regional shipping hub. The UAE’s port and free zone infrastructure investments have relied on unrealistic endless growth projections in regional trade and also the thinking that every country, big or small, is willing to eat out of the UAE’s hand.
In Djibouti, the UAE’s plan was not only to manage East Africa’s transshipments, but position itself close the strategic Mandeb Straight sea lane through which so much energy and other commercial cargo passes to Asia and Europe.
Losing Djibouti is a shock to the UAE’s system and would make it even more desperate to find other assets to compensate for its loss.
Dubai, which enjoys Western lobbying support, has taken the matter to an arbitration court in London.
“The illegal seizure of the Terminal is the culmination the Government’s campaign to force the DP World to renegotiate the terms of the concession,” the company said in a public statement in February. Djibouti said DP World rejected “good faith attempts” from the government “to resolve the issue amicably.”The mindless war being conducted by Saudi Arabia and the UAE against Yemen has similar goals to remove all maritime challenges in the neighborhood. Capturing Aden is key to Abu Dhabi’s deadly future regional man oeuvres and the U.K. and U.S.’s enthusiasm about bringing destruction to Yemen and its people must also be seen in this perspective.
Long before the Arab Spring, DP World had tried to take control of the Port of Aden when Ali Abdullah Saleh was president and enjoyed unchallenged authority. The late Yemeni leader was a veteran of the Arab League’s Byzantine politics and handled UAE officials well. He understood the harbor’s importance well as a tool to do a commercial deal favoring the UAE.