The Italian government has donated 54 vehicles to the Somali National Army as part of efforts to strengthen its ability to combat al Shabaab militants and other security challenges.
The vehicles were received by General Dahir Adan, chief of the Somali National Army (SNA) on March 5 at Mogadishu’s port after arriving by ship. Also present at the handover was Colonel Bernardo Mencaraglia, Commander Italian National Support Element (IT-NSE), European Union Training Mission (EUTM) Somalia.
Garowe Online reports that the equipment will be used by the armed forces, intelligence service and police. The shipment includes trucks and MAV 5 light armoured vehicles, based on the IVECO 40.10 and capable of carrying six personnel.
Mencaraglia said the vehicles were donated in line with previous commitments. For example, in April 2014, Italy delivered 30 vehicles to the Somali Police Corps in the first instalment of materiel donated by the Italian ministry of defence to Somalia’s armed forces.
The donations are part of Italy’s commitment to safeguarding peace and stability in Somalia. Italy is strongly committed in the European Union Training Mission in Somalia. After four years in Uganda it redeployed to Mogadishu in 2014. The current strength of 130 personnel represents 11 nations and forms an integral part of the EU Horn of Africa strategic plan, proving a variety of military capabilities for the development of Somali security forces.
EUTM Somalia provides military advice to the MoD/Defence General Staff and basic/specialist training to the Somali National Army and as of October 2014 had planned and conducted 18 training courses at Jazeera Training Camp, training almost 1 500 Somalis.