Somali Defence minister praises Turkish partnership in fight against Al Shabaab

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Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Defence Minister Abdulkadir Mohamud Nur during the National Army's 6th Batch of Officers graduation in Mogadishu

Photo credit: Pool

Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has reassured the country of his commitment to securing the lives and property of its citizens.

The Head of State was speaking at the graduation ceremony of the 6th Batch of Officers of the National Army, where he presented awards to the top graduating officers.

President Mohamud urged the graduating officers to take a leading role in the national struggle to liberate Somalia from the terrorist group Al-Shabaab.

He stressed that Al-Shabaab remains a major obstacle to achieving security, stability and development in the country and the East African region.

Somalia recently joined the eight-nation East African Community (EAC), opening the country to trade opportunities in a region of 400 million people.

President Mohamud stressed that rebuilding a strong and capable Somali National Army is critical to the ongoing plan.

"Today marks a significant milestone in your journey with the Somali National Army. You've made the ultimate sacrifice, dedicating yourselves to the service of your country. Now, the Somali people look to you to be the shield that protects them from the terrorists who deny them a peaceful life."

Strong bond

The President expressed his gratitude to the Government and people of Turkey for their efforts in training Somali National Army officers within the country. He highlighted the strong bond between Turkey and Somalia, emphasizing it as a relationship built on brotherhood and significant cooperation.

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Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Defence Minister Abdulkadir Mohamud Nur during the National Army's 6th Batch of Officers graduation in Mogadishu.

Photo credit: Pool

Mohamud further commended Turkey as a steadfast partner, acknowledging them as the only country to provide visible support for Somalia. He reassured the public that this support was in no way intended to undermine Somalia's national unity.

"Unlike many grants, which often come with strings attached, pushing the recipient in various directions, Turkey's support is offered with honour and dignity. There are no hidden agendas or special interests aimed at manipulating our diplomacy or government," said the president.

Somali Defense Minister Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur urged the newly graduated officers to make a significant contribution to the fight against Al-Shabaab. He emphasised their role in bolstering the Somali National Army's strength and strategic capabilities.

"As new blood joining the Somali National Army, you bring a vital infusion of strength and strategic thinking. Your fellow soldiers eagerly welcome you to stand beside them on the battlefields, defending our nation's sovereignty," the Minister said.

The Turksom Military University in Mogadishu which this officers graduated from plays a critical role in Somalia's ongoing efforts to rebuild a strong and capable national army.

Turksom University provides much-needed training and education for Somali soldiers.  With a focus on both officer and non-commissioned officer development, the university equips soldiers with the skills and knowledge necessary for modern warfare. This includes tactical expertise, leadership training, and an understanding of military strategy.  By providing this comprehensive education, Turksom University helps to professionalize the Somali National Army, making it a more effective force against threats like Al-Shabaab.

The university fosters a sense of cooperation and collaboration between Somalia and Turkey. Through joint training exercises and cultural exchange, Somali soldiers develop a deeper understanding of Turkish military practices. This not only strengthens the military ties between the two nations but also allows Somalia to potentially benefit from future Turkish military support and expertise. 

Furthermore, Turksom University serves as a symbol of Somalia's commitment to rebuilding its own security forces, lessening dependence on external peacekeeping missions and paving the way for a more self-reliant future.