Somalia defence minister meets EU military officials

Published: March 25, 2015

Somalia defence minister meets EU military officials
Somalia’s defence minister General Abdulkadir Sheikh Ali Diini met senior military officials from the European Union in Mogadishu on Wednesday to discuss on areas of mutual cooperation.
According to a press statement from the minister’s office, both sides discussed on the government’s efforts towards stabilizing the country, training and equipping of the Somali forces.
Mr Dini thanked the European Union for its massive support towards rebuilding Somalia’s security sector which was torn apart by the two decades of civil war.
On their side, the military officials from the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) pledged continued support for the Somalia’s army and provide the necessary military equipment and training.
In 2010, European Union launched a programme in Uganda to train Somalia’s army to secure the country.
The programme was transfered to Mogadishu with the stabilisation of the military/security situation in late 2013. More than 250 Somali soldiers, including special forces elements, have been trained by the programme.
Meanwhile, Somalia’s defence minister stressed that the government will work on the integration of the forces in the upcoming 12 months.
Military experts believe that Somalia’s security forces have a long road to travel before they can take charge of the country’s security, but with the commitment to change and the significant funding pledged, they may be marching in the right direction.
Somalia’s army was once regarded as one of Africa’s largest militaries under former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, who was toppled in 1991.

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