US pledges more military support to Somalia

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The United States has pledged more significant support to Somalia’s fledgling military infrastructure, a statement from the Office of the President in Mogadishu disclosed on Tuesday.The statement quoted a visiting US delegation led by Katie Wheelbarger, Policy Director and Deputy Staff Director on the Senate Armed Services Committee as saying that the United States would become more involved in strengthening the military capabilities of the Somali army.Any future support from the US will be channeled to the ongoing process of integrating the Somali national army which is being slowly rebuilt following years of civil strife.

It will also include upgrading the capacity of the Ministry of Defense in order to attain a strong civilian oversight within it.

The US delegation had met with Prime Minister, Omar Sharmarke and his Minister for Defense Abdulkhadir Diini with whom strengthening the security were discussed.

Prime Minister Sharmarke thanked Washington for its continuous support to Somalia especially in the security field but underlined the need to establish a solid and well established armed forces institution.

“The process of integrating the National Army is still ongoing, at present there are several camps established nationwide and we hope success in that aspect which would be a cornerstone for nation building” said Prime Minister Sharmarke.

Currently Somali government forces are being supported by African Union peacekeepers from Uganda, Kenya and Sierra Leone among other contributing countries.

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