EU donates €1 million for military hardware in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The European Union [EU] has donated €1 million to the Federal Republic of Somalia, a senior government official has confirmed, with the country to purchase modern military hardware for the Somali National Army [SNA] which is involved in operations against Al-Shabaab.
Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur, the Defence Minister, said the donation comes at a crucial time when the national army is battling against Al-Shabaab militants, who have continued to cause havoc in central and southern regions of Somalia for decades.
This is the first time the EU is donating towards strengthening the Somali National Army by banking on sophisticated weapons. The minister welcomed the donation as he expressed confidence in Al-Shabaab's defeat within the coming months.
"I welcome the historic decision of the EU Council to deliver military equipment designed to deliver lethal force to the SNA Force. This assistance measure worth €1 million under the EPF marks the first time the EU will be supporting in providing lethal support," he said.
"This support is intended for forces trained by EUTM in General Dhagabadan Training Center. I welcome and commend EU support to the SNA Force and acknowledge the importance of the EPF packages over the years to enhance the SNAF capabilities," he added.
It is anticipated that by December 2024, Al-Shabaab militants will have lost significant territories following the ongoing crackdown against them across the country. The government has managed to support the national army, which has recovered significant portions in previously Al-Shabaab-controlled regions.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud recently said he is optimistic that in the coming weeks, the United Nations Security Council will lift the decades-long arms embargo imposed on the country. This, he said, would help Somalia effectively fight Al-Shabaab militants.
The European Union is a major financial partner of the country and has invested resources in the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] peacekeepers. It is expected that by December 2024, the peacekeepers will have handed security responsibilities to the national army.