13 Jun 2019

UK opens training centre for Somali National Army

Representatives from Somalia and the UK opened a training centre for the Somali National Army in Baidoa.

Somalia’s Minister of Defence, Hassan Ali Mohammed, Southwest State Speaker, Abdulkadir Shariif Sheekhuna, and the UK Foreign Office’s Political Director, Richard Moore, opened a new UK training facility for the Somali National Army (SNA) in Baidoa. The centre is supported by the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) and will aim to support long term peace and stability in the region.

The Baidoa Security Training Centre (BSTC) will train around 120 SNA soldiers at a time, providing training in areas including medical skills, equipment care, leadership, human rights, and logistics. British armed forces personnel have been providing training in the country for almost two years.

Ben Fender, British Ambassador to Somalia, said: “The UK is one of the major international providers of support to the Somali National Army. We’re playing a central part in helping the SNA conduct current operations in Lower Shabelle including through giving practical help to the newly recovered areas – like new housing for Sabid community.”

“In Baidoa, the Somali forces we are supporting have been building defensive positions to make the approach roads into the city more secure. This is having a direct impact on the number of attacks in the city and the security of the surrounding area.”

“The SNA are motivated, keen to learn and professional. We are committed to long-term co-operation in order to help Somalia improve security and regain full control over its territory.”

Somali Defence Minister Hasan Ali Mohammed confirmed the country’s commitment to national security and tackling extremism. The centre also aims to improve on the quality of training available to Somali armed forces.

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