The United States has handed over six Puma M36 Mk 6 armoured personnel carriers to the Somali Defence Forces to bolster its efforts in the fight against al Shabaab.
The US military’s Africa Command said the six vehicles were turned over to the Somali National Army’s Danab forces on 6 July in a ceremony attended by leaders in the Somali Defence Forces.
The Puma M36s were manufactured in the United States.
Danab is an elite Somali military unit trained to hunt and kill senior leaders in the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgency.
Al Shabaab has carried out deadly attacks on civilians throughout the East African region, including an attack on a US military base in Kenya that killed three Americans last year. Danab, which is around 1 000 soldiers strong currently, is planned to grow to around 3 000. It is Somalia’s most effective fighting force.
The United States has made other donations to the Somali military, including Bastion armoured personnel carriers, and late last year was looking to acquire 100 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles for it.