Harboring ambitions: Gulf states scramble for Somalia | Reuters
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In March, Ethiopia took a stake in the port for an undisclosed sum. At the same time, Turkey, an ally of UAE rival Qatar, is ramping up a multi-billion dollar investment push in Somalia. A Turkish company has run the Mogadishu port sincewhile other Turkish firms have built roads, schools, and hospitals.
The rivalries have intensified since June, when the most powerful Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia and including the UAE, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting Iran and Islamist militants. That Middle Eastern feud is driving the desire to control the Horn of Africa and its waters, according to diplomats, businessmen, scholars and Somali officials.
Somalia is close to vital oil routes and its ports could also serve landlocked Ethiopia, which has a population of million. Gulf nations have had trade and religious ties with Somalia for centuries, but those relationships are now up in the air as new rivalries emerge.
Qatar and Turkey, whose investments are almost all in Mogadishu, are focused on supporting President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.
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He and his chief of staff are widely viewed in Somalia and by western diplomats as loyal to Doha after receiving funds for their election campaign. The official said making deals directly with regional governments in Somalia, as the UAE has done, undermined the central government.
Somali finance minister Abdirahman Duale Beileh agreed. The latter operates virtually as an independent state and has for years sought to secede from Somalia, but has not won international recognition. That began to change in when al Qaeda-backed al Shabaab militants retreated from Mogadishu. Record of deaths in Julyfrom all causes, held by the Nepalese embassy in Doha.Close Up Qatar and Its Relations With Ethiopia
There is no longer a risk that the World Cup might be built on forced labour. It is already happening. More thanNepalese left for the emirate last year.
The murky system of recruitment brokers in Asia and labour contractors in Qatar leaves them vulnerable to exploitation. The supreme committee has insisted that decent labour standards will be set for all World Cup contracts, but underneath it a complex web of project managers, construction firms and labour suppliers, employment contractors and recruitment agents operate.
The World Cup is part of an even bigger programme of construction in Qatar designed to remake the tiny desert kingdom over the next two decades.
Qatar has yet to start building stadiums forbut has embarked on the big infrastructure projects likesuch as Lusail City that, according to the US project managers, Parsons, "will play a major role during the Fifa World Cup". The British engineering company Halcrow, part of the CH2M Hill group, is a lead consultant on the Lusail project responsible for "infrastructure design and construction supervision".
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CH2M Hill was recently appointed the official programme management consultant to the supreme committee. It says it has a "zero tolerance policy for the use of forced labour and other human trafficking practices". The terms of employment of a contractor's labour force is not under our direct purview. SBD said he was employed by a subcontractor that supplies labourers for the project.
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Some workers say their subcontrator has confiscated their passports and refused to issue the ID cards they are entitled to under Qatari law. Without official documentation, migrant workers are in effect reduced to the status of illegal aliens, often unable to leave their place of work without fear of arrest and not entitled to any legal protection. Under the state-run kafala sponsorship system, workers are also unable to change jobs or leave the country without their sponsor company's permission.
A third worker, who was equally reluctant to give his name for fear of reprisal, added: If we run away, we become illegal and that makes it hard to find another job. The police could catch us at any time and send us back home. We can't get a resident permit if we leave. Dalli Kahtri and her husband, Lil Man, hold photos of their sons, both of whom died while working as migrants in Malaysia and Qatar.