The Interim Jubba Administration of Somalia has received military vehicles donated by the United Arab Emirates, including RG-31 armoured personnel carriers.
Photos released yesterday by Somali publication Horseed Media show approximately half a dozen RG31s and around a dozen Toyota Land Cruisers. They were handed over to President Ahmed Mohamed Madobe, who received the vehicles in the southern port town of Kismayo, which is also the capital of the administration.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), with an embassy in Mogadishu, maintains healthy ties with the Interim Jubba Administration, and is helping rebuild the Somali military in an effort to bring about stability to the Horn of Africa Country. For instance, the UAE’s ambassador to Somalia, Mohamed Al-Othman, visited the administrative capital of the Interim Jubba Administration in March this year.
Last year, the UAE’s armed forces donated vehicles and equipment to the Somali National Security and Intelligence Agencies and have provided training for Somali special operations forces for counter-terrorism missions, reports the UAE’s The National, which adds that the UAE’s support to Somalia is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Earlier this month a UAE-funded military training centre was opened in Mogadishu, which, according to The National, aims to build a brigade to protect the country.
It is possible that the newly delivered RG31s and Toyotas will be utilised by the Interim Jubba Administration police. The Federal Government recently signed an agreement with the Interim Jubba Administration and the Interim South West Administration on the establishment of regional police in their respective regions, with the United Nations and African Union to provide technical advice and monitor the recruiting, vetting, training and deployment of 600 officers for each region.
The 4×4 RG31 with its a V-shaped hull is certified to protect its crew from rifle and light machine gun fire, anti-tank land-mine detonations and improvised explosive devices. In its standard troop carrying configuration the Mk 5E variant can carry up to ten troops (a driver plus nine others), although it can be configured for many other roles.
The RG-31 can be fitted with an open-top turret mounted above the crew compartment which can be armed with a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun. The vehicles donated to Somalia feature the turrets but are have not been fitted with weapons.