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Aden Adde international airport in Mogadishu. Photo: Mohamed Abdiwahab / AFP / Getty Images

Somalia’s government has seized three bags of money worth $10 million from a plane that landed in Mogadishu from United Arab Emirates, Voice of America reports, citing a source that says a UAE envoy was at the airport "to receive the money" when it was confiscated.

The big picture: Somalia’s interior ministry says its security agencies are investigating where the money was going. So why would $10m in cash from the UAE show up in Somalia? As the BBC notes, a crisis in the Gulf is "playing out in dramatic form in Somalia and the wider Horn of Africa. Some argue it could tear the whole region apart."

  • Somali relations with the UAE have been particularly tense since Somalia announced it would remain neutral over the Qatar diplomatic crisis. Per the BBC, the Somali government "owes allegiance to Qatar and Turkey, but its key trading partners, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are on the other side of the Gulf divide."
  • Somalia also opposes the UAE's efforts to establish a military base in the port city of Berbera, in Somaliland. The base is strategically located, but while Somaliland operates as if an independent country, Somalia considers it part of its territory.
  • Complicating matters further, Somali states have gone against the federal government and made deals with the UAE as well, per the BBC.

Go deeper: The Economist on how the rest of the Horn of Africa is getting roped into the crisis.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 4: Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet.

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters gathered outside fortified statehouses across the U.S. over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
9 hours ago - World

China's economy grows 6.5% in Q4 as country rebounds from coronavirus

A technician installs and checks service robots to be be used for food and medicine delivery in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China, on Sunday. Photo: Hu Xuejun/VCG via Getty Images

China's economy grew at a 6.5% pace in the final quarter of 2020, the national statistics bureau announced Monday local time, topping off a year in which it grew in three of four quarters and by 2.3% in total.

Why it matters: No other major economy managed positive growth in 2020. Although the COVID-19 pandemic was first detected in China, the country got the virus under control and became one of the main positive drivers of the global economy even as the rest of the world was largely under lockdown.