British personnel have now trained over 500 Somali National Army (SNA) officers at the Baidoa training centre in the south west of the country.
The new officers graduated after successfully completing a three-month training course run by British personnel. The course has been running since January 2017, and includes medical training, leadership development, intelligence, equipment care, logistics and human rights.
‘The training we have provided will help build a more stable and prosperous Somalia. The Somalian National Army have been motivated, keen to learn and professional and we remain committed to their country’s development’
Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster
The Ministry of Defence said that the long term plan was for Somali officers to ‘take what they have learned and become self-sufficient in training their own troops’.
The SNA reportedly consists of an estimated 20,000 soldiers, including 1,500 women. The recruitment of women has rapidly increased since 2011 when al-Shabaab withdrew from the capital Mogadishu.
However, Somalia is still deeply unstable place. 9 people were killed last month when 3 al-Shabaab rebels attacked the Interior Ministry in Mogadishu. In June, another attack saw the death of a US solider. Both events served to reinforce the importance of a strong Somalia National Army.
Just recently, U.S. Africa Command said they had carried out an airstrike in Somalia and killed 3 al-Shabaab rebels.
— US AFRICOM (@USAfricaCommand) August 29, 2018