Tel-Aviv, 9 March 2010 (Somalilandpress) – Israel is struggling to keep its diplomatic friends in Africa as Iran makes a determined effort to expand its influence there, making the continent an emerging theater in the Iran-Israel confrontation.

But these days the Jewish state has a new ally, Kenya, which wants Israeli help to fight the growing menace of jihadist terrorism emanating from war-torn Somalia, Kenya’s northern neighbor where jihadists linked to al-Qaida are active.

Israel is also seeking a foothold in the turbulent Horn of Africa to guard the approaches of the Red Sea. This is a vital shipping route and the access to the Arabian Sea for missile-armed Israeli submarines to target Iran should hostilities erupt.

It is also used by Iran to smuggle weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip via Sudan and Egypt.

The Kenyans have suffered three major attacks by al-Qaida in recent years — the suicide bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi on Aug. 7, 1998, and twin attacks Nov. 28, 2002, in Mombasa, the bombing of a hotel frequented by Israelis and a missile attack on an Israeli airliner.

Kenyan Minister of Internal Security George Saitoti asked for Israeli counter-terrorism assistance when he visited Jerusalem in February.

According to media reports, he told Israeli leaders: “The jihad is taking over Somalia and threatening to take over Kenya and all of Africa. No one is more experienced than you in fighting internal terrorism.”

These reports said the Israelis responded by saying they were prepared to consider establishing a joint force with Kenya to guard its northwestern border to prevent terrorist infiltration.

Somalia’s al-Shebab Islamist movement, which is fighting a Western-backed transitional government in Mogadishu, has repeatedly threatened to attack Kenya for allegedly training Somali troops.

According to the Jamestown Foundation, a U.S. think tank that monitors jihadist militancy, “The talks with Kenya appear to be part of a growing Israeli interest in the Horn of Africa.”

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In early February, Yigal Palmor, spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, reportedly told the Somalia media that Israel was prepared to recognize the breakaway territory of Somaliland, which split from Somalia in 1991, as an independent nation.

If that happened, Israel would be the first country to recognize Somaliland, which is strategically located on the Gulf of Aden.

There have been reports, all unconfirmed, that Israel has its eye on setting up a naval outpost at the port of Berbera to monitor the approaches to the Red Sea. The Soviet military established a naval port there in 1969 during the Cold War, along with an airfield capable of handling all types of military and cargo aircraft.

Last June, one of the Israeli navy’s German-built Dolphin class submarines, reputedly able to carry nuclear-armed missiles, transited the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean into the northern end of the Red Sea for “exercises.” That was generally seen as a warning to Iran as Israeli warships usually have to take the long route from the Mediterranean via the Cape of Good Hope to reach the Red Sea.

Two Saar 5-class missile ships followed in July to beef up the Israeli presence in the waterway.

According to several Internet reports, two more Israeli warships passed through the canal in recent weeks into the Red Sea. Israel’s Defense Ministry declined comment.

In the 1950s and ’60s, Israel cultivated links with many of the post-colonial African states because they provided considerable diplomatic support in the United Nations and other internal forums, usually in exchange for military and agricultural support.

That changed amid a swell in pro-Arab sentiment following the Middle Eastern wars of 1967 and 1973.

More recently, Iran has been buying off some of Israel’s erstwhile allies in a systematic effort to spread Tehran’s influence in the Third World.

Last year, Mauritania, one of the few Arab League members to have relations with Israel, told it to close its embassy in the capital, Nouakchott, after Iran moved in.

Iran’s clout in central and west Africa is also heightened by the presence of large and influential communities of Lebanese Shiites who are generally sympathetic to Hezbollah.

They dominate the diamond trade in the region, which provides considerable funds for the Iranian-backed movement.

However, in recent months, Israel has been building military and intelligence links with Ethiopia, Nigeria and other African states.

Source: UPI


Somalilandpress Poll:


  1. Somaliland should seek diplomatic ties with Israel, Isreal is very interested in the horn of Africa. We all know Eritrea is Providing a base For iran , Somaliland and the rayaale administration should seek diplomatic relations with the Jewish state

  2. Somaliland has a very important strategic location which is the play ground for the super power, the United States, an emerging super power to reckon with, China and the feuding forces such as Israel, Iran and the Arab States.

    The United States is busying and stretched out fighting two wars now and would encourage Israel influence on the Horn of Africa by proxy to deter the presence of Iran and China. It is an advantage for us to play our cards well to get what we want in exchange.

  3. The truth is all the media that write about this subject or leaders who comment on this say "reports" or "unconfirmed" because they were all waiting for someone to bring this "taboo" subject into the surface and Somaliland press have bravely done that.

    The interest between Somaliland and Israel and vise-versa was always there but no one was brave enough to comment or say something about it.

    See how much interest it has generated?

    Everyone knows Israel will have access to the most strategic location in the world while Somaliland will have access to Israel's hi-tech industry and investors but also it will be a testing ground for Islam and Judeism.

    The world will see that Islam and Judeism can work together and have always lived side by side the problem is that the conflict in the Middle East is one that was going on since Isaac (father of the jewish people) and Ismael (father of the Arabs) were child fighting over their father Ibrahim/Abraham.

    Israelis need to go out side the box the future is Islam, Africa as well as Asia, the powers in Europe and the West will eventually decline just all all past empires.

  4. Somaliland should be very vigilant in it's dealings with Israel in order to preserve it's sovereignty and it's strategic interests. Israel has often shown it's ruthlessness in trying to achieve it's aims and ambitions, a rogue state; dangerous, unpredictable and unaccountable. Yes, Somaliland may deperately want independence but it should't hasten to any decisions. The government should scrutinize the possible consequences of have bilateral dealings with Israel.

    The Arab countries and Iran will see this as a threat and could therefore retaliate (the Arab peninsula represents the main buyer of Somali livestock). For the insurgents in Somalia this will almost certainly seem a new frontier and this could profoundly endanger Somaliland's peace, economy and it's people.

  5. Recognition will not catapult Somaliland to a position where they are able to deal with all of these potential problems simultaneously. The other fact is that in any relationship, especially in the proposed Somaliland-Israel relationship, there will be an unequal balance of power; Israel will have greater bargaining power. They can only gain from this relationship, whereas Somaliland has much to lose.

    Nevertheless, there are educational, economical, diplomatic and agricultural advances to be made in which Israel could assist. Somaliland should seek guarantees that Israel will fulfil its obligations and should set in place secondary plans in case…
    This is undeniable a good opportunity (in terms of recognition), however Somaliland should tread carefully as it’s walking on a fine line.
    Due to the ‘unbreakable’ relationship between America and Israel, it’s pretty obvious Washington is fully informed and will follow not long after. Here is perhaps the biggest danger of all, Somaliland must not, like Somalia, get caught up in proxy wars and superpower politics. Or it too, will get badly burnt.

  6. I agree there Ahmed however naturally and historically those fundamentalists ranting in Somalia have never thrieved in our land and they will not find safe heaven now, our people know better.

    We never liked those self proclaimed holy men and their divine missions and they will not use us as an excuse to show their hate for Israel after Arabia brain washed them.

    We are not saying we going to offer every thing for recognition hell no, we just saying Israel is another nation and we will deal with them with our interest in mind.

    If they are Jewish we do not care, that's between them and their Lord, God did not create you to be a little "warrior" for Him on earth. He does not need you to kill Jews for Him, he has an Angel called Angel of Death. So Arabs and Somalis from Somalia please find another excuse to hate on others. Islam asked you to pray and teach not kill – what have you achieved by killing an "infidel" basically he is dead as "infidel" so what was all that about?

    Those people need education.

  7. Somaliland don't gamble with your live stock trade and you need to find other markets first then you can have whom ever you want friend with. I think, you sending messages to Arab world so they can move faster to recognize you before Isreal does what a game. I don't think that is good idea because not only government picks who they want but people have their say as well.

    Islam does't teach to harm others including jew, lakum diinakum walaa diin. Its Allah who will judge people and we leave it for him. But I couldn't understand why Isreal always hide their faith specially when they know your name a Muslim name. This subject of Somaliland and Isreal that keep coming back appear it losing interest among Somalilandpress readers and it may be time to down play all together. Those who live outside Africa see Jew everday and they get used to eachother but back home it different stories.
    Is Somaliland very dissappointed that no one recognize yet after 19 years? Be strong because getting recognition won't be the end of our problems. May be you know something some of us don't know because it look like much attention is given for looking for recognition rather building your country from inside.

  8. Our nation's interest should come above everything else. We owe nothing the Arabs. Let's ask ourselves, what are going to lose that Arabs offer us? Simply, nothing! hey banned our livestock once and may do it again sooner or later. so be it. We buy from them more than they buy from us and they should keep that in mind.

    What we have to do from now and on though is not to be dependent on the Gulf States for our livestock market. We should diversify our market and explore other markets. Burao is leading the way now. A joint venture company between Somaliland and Malaysians has been established recently and Warshadda Dhoofinta Hilibka Xoolaha is under construction now in Burao. I think that other regions in Somaliland should follow the foot steps of Awdal and Burao and build similar Meat Factories and then develop a good marketing strategy for our meat overseas.

    Malaysia is bigger and more developed than all the Gulf States combined and we should do business with them in all areas.

  9. Dear countrymen and those who pretend, We should not make this a big issue. Interest drives the world, and if our interest is to have a political relations with Israel, we shall do it, and Abdillahi Yare has to start now if not already done. If you go back a little and recall the Forum that took place in Doha – Qatar sometime January, 2010 and Israel delegation took part, the Arabs have suggested that we [Arabs] should all sit with the Jewish Entity, because it's the only way we can get our land – by talking to them. Since, this is what Arabs believe, why we Somalilanders talk nonsense. We have the right to have relations any nation on earth.

  10. this is to all somalilanders wherever they are just i would aime to remaind you that we share israelien ehtnic and culture and you try to find where somaliland people are from originally? and to know that you need to go back the history and there no reason we can separate from israel and we should not listen those arabis or arabism