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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 124  Al Jazeera  May 4, 2018 8:32pm-9:01pm +03

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also over the last hour and a half there's been a real uptick in the numbers of lloyd's. at least six people have drowned in eleven more a missing off to extreme flooding in kenya a groups are now warning that these floods could spread cholera and malaria severe rains which triggered the floods follow several seasons of drought in the country. a volcanic eruption in hawaii has forced seventeen hundred people to be evacuated from their homes lava flows threatening residential areas close to kill away on of the most active volcanoes in the world after it erupted on thursday off to noon local time the governor has declared a state of emergency and u.k. court has ruled that human rights campaign is can proceed with a legal case and stopping british sales to saudi arabia the campaign against arms trade says british weapons are being used in violation of international law in the
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war in yemen the u.k. is sold six point two billion dollars in arms to the country since the saudi led air campaign began. and u.s. president trump says his lawyer rudy giuliani will get his facts straight of a comments made about adult film star still me daniels in a t.v. interview giuliani said trump knew about payments to daniels after an alleged affair in two thousand and six trump previously denied knowledge of the hush money as the top stories inside story is next. the u.a.e. has deployed more soldiers in yemen's remote island of subconscious the gulf
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country has been expanding its influence not just in southern yemen but across the red sea and horn of africa region so what's behind this military build up this is inside story. hello welcome to the program i'm jane dokken the flag of the united arab emirates has been raised over a public buildings and yemen's remote island off so cock sure that's near somalia's northeastern coast some local say is a power grab at the expense of the internationally recognized government led by the president a hottie of the how to government says the u.a.e. action is an act of hostility formally they are allies in the saudi led war against
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the who rebels in the capital but the u.a.e. has promoted separatists in the south and now calls the shots in large parts of that region and so cut to island will bring in i guess a member first let's go topless as this report. showing support for yemen's prime minister group in dhaka hundreds of yemenis took to the streets of supporters as the u.a.e. boost its presence in this remote on into the gulf of aden. the united arab emirates flew in soldiers along with tanks and armored vehicles the shown here sitting up with security cordon having. local troops from the airport yemeni government sources of since confirmed to al jazeera that u.a.e. troops have also taken control of the main port and denied the yemeni prime minister and most of his cabinet permission to leave situated off the coast of somalia and the unesco heritage site known to many as the glad because of the indian ocean is famous for its unusual wildlife and scenery but with a three thousand meter long runway ideal for fighter jets and large military
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aircraft the island is also situated between the horn of africa and yemen just be on the red sea and some of the busiest ceilings in the world what they have done here is they have found an island which is very remote from both yemen and somalia very far off the coast but it's very strategically located and it kind of acts as a quasi aircraft carrier in the main over the u.a.e. in the middle of the in you notion where they can control traffic and obviously to control the traffic you can also give favorable access to the sea lanes to companies that are related to the u.a.e. so it's a military and geopolitical strategy which is very much linked to the economic strategy of you know united arab emirates having already invested heavily in somaliland and expanded the commercial port of bear the u.a.e. has control of the culture is seen by many is the latest move by the emirates to spread its influence well beyond its borders people have often remarked on the strategic value of sokoto or there have been speculations that. one power or
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another might try to actually establish a presence on the island but. with the war in yemen entering its fourth year the u.a.e. now controls much of the south of the country with a strong presence on both sides of the entrance to the red sea and so katra place right in the middle alex go topless inside story. let's get straight to the story and bring in our guests in london via skype mohammed jemez a writer for al could. newspaper in uk said samuel romani research at oxford university and specialist on conflict in yemen in beirut bethen mccann middle east reporter for the independent and author of the first eyewitness report on the u.a.e. in sokoto of a good to have you with us i'm going to come to you first mohammed to make considering your relationship with the government and your understanding of the way it works what do you make of the fact that the u.a.e.
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and its chips on psychiatrists have refused to let government delegates including the prime minister leave the island what's going on there what sort of statement is that what i think the it goes back to the. to the relationship that the nickel to relationship between the government his government and the emirates this reminds us of what happened a few months ago in aden when there was a conflict between the soldiers and troops related to the south and. the transitional council which is supported by the imagery the iraqis and the troops of the government supported by gov how does your government. now were yesterday and the day before we are facing the same stage of this hidden let's say . conflict between had is and between how the and the monarchy is. but it seems that. emanates want to expand their control over this island because
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there is no hope of these there so that they can say we are fighting the whole of these we are supporting the government again the cause the this island is in the in the south and it is in the indian ocean exactly that excuse away doesn't it. actually i'm just a country. though that are not there anyway all the troops in so-called that are yemenis loyal to the yemeni government. governed by. but from the marty's point of view i think they won this important land or it's on science in the country it is they want this in all it's it's it's in the middle like in the middle between the gulf and the african and it's the marquis's want to present themselves as a mediator between the west and the east and this island is very important
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strategically for emirates ok does hold on let me just bring in samuel ramani if i may to just go back to what we saw happen in the last couple of hours most recent developments stopping this government delegation from leaving i mean do you agree that this is just part of the fallout between the u.a.e. and the had a government isn't a real statement that doesn't matter where you are or was it just easy pickings for them on a psychiatrist. i think it is a sign of a major vallie average in the u.a.e. and the heavy government because the u.a.e. has lost confidence in heavies ability to restore stability and to restore a secular state d.m. and that's what his primary goal is how he is not he does it send over there who doesn't see it in them that was over two years ago. initially cassar lot with salai and then when sally died in december they cast their lot with us of the many separatists who are directly combating with abby and now as a cutter they're finding another avenue and yet another place is gigli important in
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the horn of africa and in yemen to conflict against a heavy government i think the sign of the u.a.e. and saudi arabia have broadly disagreed over how the long term viability the u.a.e. believe is not viable and the loss of legitimacy in his home region across the country whereas had he reviewed billie's he is the only pepin job or against iranian expansion in the country. mckernan do you see this is a statement of u.a.e. growing dominance and control in yemen and i think so i think part of the reason the culture is so fascinating is it's this mix of the both hot on soft power strategies both in yemen and in the widest sort of horn of africa region the fact that the prime minister and his dedication haven't been allowed to leave according to yemeni media reports in the last day was to read a sign from the u.a.e. that they are here to stay the unloading of heavy heavy artillery on the island for the first time again is very much flexing its muscle and showing that they have
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designs which is definitely all odds with the government even though on paper they are allies in the fight against these on the mainland. it's due to you that we have a lot of this knowledge of what's happening on monday to find out about the u.a.e. troop buildup and possibly more about the intentions so tell us what it is that you saw from a military point of view and what do you see as their strategy that. from a military point of view there's at least one base on the island that's not new information the u.s. did admit in may last year. is not known is who exactly is a racing from there we know that the troops are sent there for intensive state of battlefield training and then they go on to fights on the mainland it's not clear whether there are any specialized troops whether there are any secret black sites though the way that the u.s. has been alleged by the associated press to be operating from ever try and quite
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a few places in southern yemen and it's not clear what the relationship is between the military presence on the island and the yemeni government forces on the island it did seem told us that. government's soldiers salaries are being topped up by the u.a.e. on top of what they are from the government and. but as we've seen in the last couple of days it looks like any of the soldiers stationed there who are from the yemeni mainland think kicks out and sent home or at least that appears to be the plan of a quite a few sources who are there at the moment have told me so like i say it's not just hard power there there are no he's to fights there was no indication that the island could become the front for anything violence but it's most definitely an extension of what they're doing in southern yemen and like i say the build up of the ministry and the fact that the commanders do walk around the town quite freely
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has been a presence for some time now shows that little by little the emirates really have taken control of this place precisely as what is militarily muhammad the head of government has called as an act of hostility and i'm just wondering where this leaves the governor because it's quite an extraordinary statement isn't it if you go to your own troops walking around stopping the prime minister from leaving when it comes to the question of sovereignty for. example well as you said. the relationship between the monarchies and ideas government is not that it's not that good and. there are many concerns from had his point of view regarding the monarchies behavior in the south and then. it seems that the martys are not happy with the movements done by. mr been dealt out of the prime minister recently when he moved from a gun to
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a collage of them oh yeah and he went to this. fall i learned. which is controlled by the amenities now so they are not a seemingly happy or these movements they want to say that any sort of movement and this sort of action on the ground must be must be taken. from the monarchies now. there are some reports today that the saudis sent a committee to see the situation there they are going to talk as the report says to the prime minister who is still there in heavy blue which is the capital of this island and they are going to talk to the monarchies that will try to reconcile and solve this problem ok sam where do you think this leaves saudi arabia they are sending a delegation to psychiatrists but alongside that you've got that relationship with
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the u.a.e. which has been strained because of the u.a.e. is gaining of power in yemen the fact that the u.a.e. is supporting the southern transitional council in the south of the country i think it is the saudi arabia in quite a difficult position because saudi arabia and the u.a.e. alliance are seen as the cornerstone of this attitude towards the gulf and december if they crystallize that into a coherent doctrine so now these tensions are yemen now they've exploded saudi arabia needs to mitigate the damage and it entered. missions are all mode and he said convince the u.a.e. that act unilaterally by supporting the south humanities and then by supporting any other groups that oppose how the weather's been so hot or elsewhere in the country is just arming and emboldening the houdinis an iranian backed forces so the saudi arabians first of all want to how dialogue and. sense of unity and consensus about who their real big enemy is and why they have to say united to confront that as secondly i think that saudi arabia will ferment any kind of pro had the demonstrations they are the ones you've been seeing in psychiatrist against the
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military occupation the in this you hear the costs of if you're going to unilaterally inviolate human sovereignty in this way are too high and that they must cissie the course in the g.c.c. i mean this is an idea of part of a broader ideological struggle within lama than say it secular vision a mob had been solomon's vision of just continue to run sunni nationalism and this is going to try and and south yemen or major theaters and then saudi arabia wants to get the upper hand in this diplomatic struggle again not let's take a closer look at the u.s. military role in yemen and north africa and we really see an interesting picture forming him i guess have touched on this and the country has bases along the southern coast of yemen the main port city of aden is dominated by u.a.e. backed separatists on the african side of the red sea it operates the a sub naval and air base in eritrea the u.a.e. is building a military base in beveren somalia as breakaway region of somaliland and buys d.p.
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world has signed a thirty a deal to manage a report an agreement that has not been recognized by the somali government in mogadishu the u.a.e. is also developing the ports of inputs and in other parts of somalia who self-governing states is not internationally recognized the u.a.e. is training and equipping the local maritime police force there but its relations have soured with somalia last month my goodness she dispended a u.a.e. . graham to train some of its troops soon after it sees millions of dollars from a u.a.e. plane when you look at the horn of africa and i know we've touched on it briefly and you look at the the multiple players involved not just the saudi arabia that france and china and the u.s. and cats on and increasingly turkey it's quite a warring picture. coming from that isn't it i mean you really see a build up of control and it's all about i guess access to these seaways these
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ports. one hundred percent this is sort of what's more than empire building looks like in the twenty first century i guess and this is we're seeing the u.a.e. evolving into what used to be quite content a state an emirate a story of a group of nations you speak quite content to be led by saudi arabia the big brother in the region but in the aftermath of the arab spring has realized that maybe these existing structures are not assaulted as they were previously and therefore is become one of the most interventionist players in the entire region what you're seeing is the buying up in the monopolizing of all of these ports along the red sea even actually as far as limits so in the eastern mediterranean all the way into the indian ocean is definitely a big game plan but a lot of these places are sort of under the radar of most news organizations and
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most of most western powers the not places with significance. it's the not places where was it being forced anymore necessarily but this is why sculpture i think has become the epicenter of this strategy it's almost become a sort of crimea esque situation where both soft soft pulsar was the u.a.e. and the u.s. money is quite the guy yelling for support for his residence they have been long marginalized by the mainland governments and they were left to fend for themselves basically after these two huge site clones ripped across the island in two thousand and fifteen they destroyed eighty percent of the island's roads they made one third of the population homeless and hardy's government did almost nothing to relieve so the fact that the u.a.e. has come along offering health care offering to rebuild schools offering in some cases it appears that trees are getting special work visas goes up and up and this is a place where unemployment is rife for people who are very poor and he has obviously
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suffered a lot in the last couple of years due to the conflicts. these are all things that one hundred percent pulls towards the u.a.e. away from the mainland yemeni governments it's i think maybe something that gets lost in this discussion as yes this is an ideological battle between the major powers between. it's when the government supposedly sits and auden but on the ground treason cells are very often quite ambivalence towards the states of yemen with the modern stay as it currently exists they they feel that they've been ignored for a very long time and this is one of the major reasons the u.a.e. has been able to get a foothold here because they've offered people the things that yemen was not offering them so if you're looking at the way modern power plays out and this part of the world and it makes a lot of sense from from an on the ground perspective definitely ok so they feel they've been ignored and you confirming that they indeed have some real money talks
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if you look at what's happening. in yemen in the horn of africa and the play is that strain money at troops you got you know a plane loads of cash that there's been stopped a u.a.e. plane in the horn of africa and i'm just wondering how this plays out as far as the blockade is concerned with cattle because cattle is also going to interest the cats on turkey versus the u.a.e. saudi arabia and other places there yeah i agree this is a very interesting complication that the u.a.e. and saudi arabia are having dissension discord overs of gotcha because if you look at this program realist you bluebirds i thought it would be in their interests as the edit one of the big reasons why the u.a.e. has reacted so strongly to the planeload seizure many of ten million dollars in the diplomatic crisis is because somalia is not only aligned with turkey it was also aligned with guitar as giving them desired to support within the arab league against the blockade so i think that ultimately this is going to be
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a broader struggle between turkey and qatar as the u.a.e. for going troll which. it was ever since the the coup in july when he said steyn has been burgeoning over the course of this region turkey has a strong stronghold in in somalia but somaliland in ethiopia seems to be leaning towards the u.a.e. at least and said he has a foothold in djibouti i think as of now in terms i mean you know you have you know any seems to be playing alan all the ballet as it are excuse me jumping in a place or place down to as does djibouti i judy is an interesting case over here i think that china obviously has the upper hand over in djibouti just in general simply because of its control of the military base and now it's asking to build a port in march which would be if it has it would probably surpass anything the u.a.e. has in berbera and is indifference they call those who has an advantage beyond them uys probably the second most powerful factor there and the saudis have a military base there as well as the u.s. having a crucial military installations of life is probably act towards a defense of the u.a.e. interests there because they both are interested in countering terrorism in the
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hell so i think that there the u.s. and the u.a.e. are probably going to be for comedy against china for supremacy in djibouti gabbie because just because of the nature of so you can dress and desire to india and china and africa in spite of the trump and iterations of the end of all of the african strategy mohamed a weakened yemen obviously plays into what's happening in the horn of africa and the discourse there. when it comes to political developments between these plays the proxy wars the potential proxy wars growing proxy wars where are we this is the problem now because it. we have so many factions and yemen so many parties conflict and artie's and there is no way for one of these parties to win this war and at the same time there is no way any of them could think of a political solution peaceful solution. because it's again it is sort of british regional war it's difficult for the inside factions to decide because the decision
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is sometimes outside. now we kind of fed back to the what the market has said about the importance of the political solution peaceful solution and how difficult it is this or if the regional powers like iran's audi's emirates and some other international powers like united states and russia could agree to a political solution in yemen it's difficult for the emmys themselves to bring back peace to their country especially when you find this war is expanding and it takes different ways and it takes a different agenda and so many factions. in june in this war so many militias. it's difficult to say when are you going to take the first step
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towards the peaceful solution as long as there are many inside and the regional powers thinking that the military solution or military solution would be the way. the military solution being the way whether it's in yemen the horn of africa or so they enter a sense a hell of a bet and if we can just look at as a culture and if this plays out since a culture and how important an island this is away from its military potential as a launching pad i mean it's fragile ecosystem and what it means for the world. it's a very delicate coast ecosystem it's the last remnants of a subtropical subtropical forest which is about twenty million years old it's been treasured by conservationists some biologists since. modern day exploration of its species and its foreign foreigner began access has always been
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very difficult. been under threat by human activity for at least the last two hundred years the archipelagos sort of gradually drying out which is changing the climate which is already quite are it. and there's overgrazing and lots of the really precious dragons blood trees that damage to the eye and they don't go anywhere else happen felled for making room for homes of the past year and that kind of thing but when the as strip to connect to the islands to mainland yemen was built in one thousand nine hundred nine little consolation this have sad thoughts that really sped up the effects that we were already seeing damaging the ecosystem on the island. and now that the merits of the what many people are very worried about is that there might be this large scale development for example one businessman that's my reports and partner and i came across told us that he was going to build five star hotels across the island and it currently has various
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infrastructure that would support that so the question is how on earth can something like that be achieved which could be actually a positive development for the island if it was managed properly and if it were jobs and it bore income and it bought more prosperity to its residents but there's so little known about what the long term plans are whether it wants to be there to be just a military base or ministry base come holiday resorts i mean it's it is it is a paradise there's no like here on earth it's definitely a sort of jewel in the emirates crown if it suddenly becomes this kind of sort of bustle. emirates. afraid we've run out of time thanks very much for that. growing victims of this yemen war samuel ramani bethen mccann and and muhammad thank you very much for your thoughts on this you can see the program again any time by visiting our website al jazeera dot com for further discussion you can get off facebook page at facebook dot com ford slash a.j.
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inside story can also join the conversation on twitter handle is that a.j. inside story mine is at. the with us. rewind returns with a new series of care bring your people back to life from stars and brand new updates on the best of al-jazeera documentaries in the live i was the top of the plus. and the other student rewind continues with children of conflict we'd love some peace in the summer especially. children do not have any rights here
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