US donates $9 million weapons to Danab Special Forces in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The United States has embarked on serious equipping of the Somali National Army [SNA] Special Forces commonly known as Danab as the country enters the crucial phase in the fight against Al-Shabaab militants who control large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia.
Since September 2022, Somalia has been conducting operations against Al-Shabaab in central and southern parts of the country, leading to significant progress, including but not limited to killing the group's leaders, seizing strategic towns, and arresting a number of militants.
On Sunday, the US embassy in Mogadishu said it has given weapons worth $9 million which includes heavy machine guns; support and construction vehicles, explosive ordinance disposal kits, medical supplies, and maintenance equipment to the Somali army which are critical components in the war.
This package, the US noted, is for Danab battalions, including those operating in Hirshabelle and Galmudug states which President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud says could liberate the regions in the coming months from the militants. Al-Shabaab lost most parts of the territories they were in charge of.
"$9 million in weapons, vehicles, and equipment from the United States will support the successful campaign by SNA Force to liberate Somalia’s communities from al-Shabaab. Grateful to Minister Mohamed Nur and SNA CDF Odowaa for their partnership," the US said in a statement.
The United States has been supporting the special forces through aerial surveillance including bombarding areas that are dominated by the Al-Shabaab militants during special operations. The Danab forces also work closely with the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS].
Danab commandos who are estimated to be about 1,300 have been conducting operations across Somalia and are credited for rescuing people in buildings targeted by Al-Shabaab militants. The US believes that the special forces would magically help the country regain stability in the near future.
Somalia has been fighting Al-Shabaab militants for the last 16 years but the in the process, the group has managed to kill several innocent civilians, members of security forces, and senior government officials. However, there are indications that the group has lost several strategic towns in the country.