Somalia’s Efforts to Bolster Its Military Against Al-Shabaab in Focus

Somalia's Efforts To Bolster Its Military Against Al-shabaab In Focus

In the past thirty years, Somalia has faced challenges in terms of security, with civil war and terrorism hindering the progress of the national army. This led to the reliance on regional militias and forces, posing a significant threat to national security.

Currently, besides the federal army, each state has its own regional forces and locals are allowed to possess weapons and participate in battles. This practice has been opposed by security experts due to its risks. However, all these teams are contributing effectively to the fight against Al-Shabaab.

Recently, there have been proposals to change the administration and voting model in order to merge the security forces and enhance coordination through a central command. The country is currently training thousands of soldiers who will take over security responsibilities from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS].

The strengthened Somali National Army [SNA] has played a crucial role in the efforts to eradicate Al-Shabaab, with minimal support from international partners. This is a positive development considering the previous disorganization of the military during the civil war and subsequent periods.

The international partners deserve significant credit for the strengthening and equipping of the army. They have been training elite units that engage Al-Shabaab militants. The United States, for example, has been providing training and equipment to the Danab Special Forces, who are involved in sophisticated operations within the country.

Recently, over 400 Danab Special Forces graduated from the Balligodle Military Academy in a ceremony attended by Defence Minister Abdikadir Mohamed Nur. Bancroft also plays a role in the training of these soldiers in Somalia.

Turkey has also been a valuable partner in the training of Somali soldiers. The Turkish-trained Gorgor commandos actively participate in combat operations throughout the country. The Gorgor troops have successfully inflicted losses on Al-Shabaab militants and are known for their bravery.

The ATMIS contingent, fulfilling its mandate, has been training soldiers in Somalia and equipping them with the necessary skills to combat crimes. The graduates receive training in VIP protection, counter-insurgency operations, quick reactions to insurgency raids, and handling explosive devices.

This training aligns with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2670 [2022], UNSCR [2687], AU Communique 1068 [2022], and the recently agreed-upon Somali Transition Plan by all Troop Contributing Countries. These soldiers are expected to play a crucial role in the upcoming second phase of operations against Al-Shabaab.

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