A delegation led by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud arrived in Kampala, Uganda, on Saturday night to conclude the training of Somali Armed Forces units that had completed their training in Uganda.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud thanked the Ugandan government for assisting in rebuilding Somali forces fighting against al-Shabaab.
He emphasized the significance of reforming the Armed Forces, stating that they form the foundation of the government and that a speedy victory in the war against al-Shabaab can be achieved if the army is strong.
Uganda’s President has already pledged to support Somalia by training their Armed Forces and stressed the importance of reforming them. President Museveni of Uganda believes that Somalia’s security problem can be resolved by rebuilding the Somali National Army, enabling it to assume responsibility from the African Union ATMIS.
Uganda has been on a peacekeeping mission in Somalia since 2007. It has the largest contingent in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), comprising Banadir (Mogadishu), Middle and Lower Shabelle regions.
In a recent interview with VOA Somali, Hussein Sheikh-Ali, the chief of staff of the Somali National Army, stated that Somalia had sent 3,000 soldiers each to Eritrea and Uganda in the preceding few weeks, and an additional 6,000 recruits would be sent to Ethiopia and Egypt. The goal, he said, is to have 15,000 soldiers ready by the end of 2023.
Somalia’s Defense Minister stated that the move was part of a larger strategy to increase the number of trained soldiers to 15,000 within 2023.