Military presence in Horn of Africa seen as move to protect oil-shipping lanes
A United Arab Emirates military base in the self-declared republic of Somaliland will begin operating by June and include a coastal-surveillance system, according to a diplomat involved in talks for the facility. The United Arab Emirates is growing its military presence in the Horn of Africa to help protect trade flows through the Bab el-Mandeb strait, a key shipping lane used by oil tankers and other cargo vessels en route to the Suez Canal. The country’s footholds in Somaliland and Eritrea provide strategic locations as it supports the Saudi Arabia-led war against Houthi rebels in Yemen.