Qatar Crisis– Somali President Mohammed Abdullah Farmajo has reportedly rejected an offer of $80 million from Saudi Arabia to take sides with the Arab Kingdom by severing diplomatic relations with Qatar Emirate.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates last week announced the severing of diplomatic ties with Qatar.
This is not the first time the middle east is witnessing a disagreement like this.
In 2014, the UAE, along with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, withdrew their ambassador from Qatar over an alleged failure by Qatar to respect an agreement of not interfering in the politics of these Arab countries.
This time Saudi Arabia and these same Gulf countries have severed ties with Qatar on the accusation of sponsoring terrorist groups.
Somalia is a largely Muslim country with incessant terrorist attacks and conflicts.
Evidently, the African country caught in the web of this rift alongside countries like Pakistan would rather remain neutral on the issue than take sides.
The Pakistani PM, Nawaz Sharif and Saudi King, King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud met on Monday over the issue. The PM met with the Saudi King in Jeddah to mediate on the rift between Saudi and Qatar.
King Salman requested Sharif to publicly take his stand between Saudi Arabia or Qatar.
In his words he asked:
“Are you with us or with Qatar?”
He went on to remind the PM and everyone who cared that “the fight against extremism and terrorism is in the interest of all Muslims and the Ummah (community)”.
Kuwait’s Emir, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has been leading a diplomatic initiative to resolve the rift but so far no breakthrough has been achieved.
Islamic organizations like the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), are also working towards resolving the matter via dialogue.
Recent reports confirm that the Arab nations are making true their threats.
Qatar has equally started sending citizens from the aggrieved Gulf countries home.
As it concerns Somalia, Saudi Arabia has threatened to withdraw financial aid to the African country if it refuses to take a definite stand on the Middle East Crisis.
Qatar is one of the leading economies in the world. It ranks third on the list of natural gas reserves and oil reserves in the world.
In the Arab world, Qatar is respected for its advanced human development. Unfortunately, it has been severally linked to terrorism. They are known for sponsoring Arabic rebel groups.
Bearing in mind that the recent Qatar crisis will affect Arab citizens of mixed nationalities, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have proposed to consider such families.
As thoughtful as it sounds, victims of the Qatar crisis do not see much hope for them. Already some of these mixed families have been threatened with separation while others have lost their jobs.
With last week’s blockade led by Saudi Arabia, Qatar will be facing a shortage on food imports.
Observers have reckoned that President Farmajo’s insistent neutrality on the Middle East crisis may not have been the case with the former Somalian government.
Middle East Monitor, quoted anonymous reliable sources, saying UAE rulers like the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Bin Zayed, “would have preferred the former president, Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud, to remain in power, especially because of the concessions that the UAE were given by Mahmoud…”
Past Somalian administration enjoyed certain contracts and benefits from the Arab world.
On the contrary, President, Farmajo, has vowed to reverse some of these agreements, saying they were illegal.