Once again, the Republic of Somalia has been gifted several logistics and military vehicles to Help sustain it’s fight against Al-Shabaab.
The equipment which comprises of at least 17 Kamaz troop carriers and tractor trucks as well as ten Toyota Land Cruiser light patrol vehicles, were donated by the United Kingdom to the Somali National Army (SNA) in order to help boost it’s logistical capabilities.
The equipment were delivered to the SNA in Mogadishu on 6 September, and a team of British experts were already in-country beforehand in Mogadishu to provide equipment support such as training the SNA on how to operate and services the vehicles.
On the handover event, which saw a lot of dignitaries in attendance, including the Somali defence minister Hassan Ali Mohammed, Ali while receiving the equipment pledged that it would be deployed to intensify operations against Al Shabaab.
“We would like to thank the British government for this equipment which is a force enabler. With this, we can now improve our operations and intensify the fight to kick Al Shabaab out of the areas they still control,” Mohammed said.
For several years, the United Kingdom has been supportive of the SNA, by providing both training and equipment.
The first batch of Somali National Army (SNA) infantry battalion to be trained by the British Army graduated on 18 March at the UK-supported training facility in Southwest State, Somalia.
Over 400 SNA soldiers have been trained over 12 months forming the first battalion.
The Somalian military has been on the spotlights this past few months, the country has garnered support from Qatar, Turkey, the United States, and now, the United Kingdom.
US-Turkey rivalry in Somalia
For instance, the United States is planning on delivering at least 100 light combat vehicles to Somalia in order to support it’s war against Al-Shabaab.
The move, coming on the heels of the recent donation of 12 Turkish-made BMC Kirpi armored vehicles, as well as 12 light utility vehicles is aimed at countering Turkish growing influence in the country.
Ankara’s close relationship with Somalia began after the latter’s invitation to Turkey to explore for oil in its seas last October.
Since then, Turkey has been a major source of aid to Somalia ever since 2011 when Erdogan visited the famine-gripped country.
And last February, the United States Air Force flew a B-52H bomber over Somalian soil. The low-level flight of the B-52H Stratofortress strategic bomber could be attributed to a renewed show of force to Al Shabaab which has intensified its attacks in the region.
Qatar donates Storm Armoured personnel carriers to Somalia
The donated Storm armoured personnel carriers made by Qatari company Stark Motors are part of a wide effort by Qatar to rebuild and the Somalian army especially as the country is currently battling Islamist insurgents.
According to the Qatari Ministry of Defense, “The aid will help Somalia’s effort to establish peace and stability, and fight terrorism”
The vehicles have been given in the form of a Qatari grant to support the people and government of Somalia, to contribute to the strengthening of institutions in Somalia and its internationally recognised central government.