Africa: Russia to Construct Military Base in Somaliland As Scramble for the Horn of Africa Continues

Somaliland is an internationally endorsed autonomous region of Somalia that straddles the borders of Ethiopia and Djibouti.

According to US Defense Department, Russian has plans of setting up their military base at the port of Berbera on the coast of self-declared state of Somaliland.

China and the United States have military bases in Djibouti thus they will be sharing the same coastline if Russia builds it base at the port of Berbera.

Russia also has expressed interests of setting up a naval and logistic base in Eritrea but details about the negotiations remains scanty.

Russian military transport aircraft landed in Cabo Delgado Province in northern Mozambique, some 1,500 miles south, down the eastern coast of Africa. According to US Defense Department, about 160 personnel belonging to the Wagner Group, a Russian private military contractor were deployed.

In another instance, Mozambique Government sought services of Russian mercenaries to help them combat the rising insurgency claimed to be linked with the Islamic State

US Defense Department officials have analyzed Moscow's move highlighting great power competition and expressing their concern by Russia's growing influence in Africa. US also faces same competition from China as Washington struggles to establish its security and economic goals in Africa.

This campaign for influence in Africa in playing a huge role even as US has hinted of withdrawing hundreds of its forces from West Africa with an intent of deploying them to counter threats from China and Russia closer to their borders.

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