On Saturday night, a team led by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud arrived in Kampala, Uganda, to complete the training of Somali Armed Forces units that had completed their training in Uganda.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud commended Uganda for its assistance in rebuilding Somali soldiers against al-Shabaab. He underlined the importance of rebuilding the Military Forces, stressing that they are the cornerstone of the government and that a strong army can accomplish a quick victory in the war against al-Shabaab.
Uganda’s President has previously promised to assist Somalia by training their Military Forces and emphasizing the significance of reforming them. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni believes that Somalia’s security situation can be handled by rebuilding the Somali National Army and allowing it to take over responsibility for the African Union ATMIS.
Since 2007, Uganda has been on a peacekeeping mission in Somalia. It has the most troops in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), with bases in Banadir (Mogadishu), the Middle and Lower Shabelle regions.
In a recent interview with VOA Somali, Somalia’s chief of staff, Hussein Sheikh-Ali, indicated that the Somali National Army had sent 3,000 soldiers to Eritrea and Uganda in the previous few weeks, and that a further 6,000 recruits will be sent to Ethiopia and Egypt. He stated that the goal is to have 15,000 soldiers ready by the end of 2023.
According to Somalia’s Defense Minister, the move is part of a bigger effort to boost the number of trained soldiers to 15,000 by 2023.