Somali government has for the first time confirmed the presence of US military experts in the country, where they arrived last year, according to a high ranking government official.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Defence minister Abdulhakim Mahmoud Haji Fiqi told the VOA Somali service that his government was fully aware of the presence of US military experts in the country since their arrival last year.
“The US military officials arrived in the country in October last year and they came here to contribute military advices to the Somali government and AU forces in particularly the combat operations against Al Shabaab terrorists” the Somali minister for defence Abdulhakim Mahmoud Haji Fiqi told in an interview with VOA Somali service on Wednesday.
Recently the United States government unveiled that unspecified number of US military advisors are in Somalia to assist Somali government forces and African Union peacekeepers in the country.
But the Somali minister said that only five US military experts are now in the country adding that the federal government was fully welcoming any major US military involvement in the country.
“They are very small number, but the US military stay in the country shows that the international community was fully prepared to help the recovery of Somalia and the fight against AL Shabaab terrorists—we are very hopeful that the US government will strengthen its assistance to Somalia” the defence minister said during an interview with VOA Somali service on Wednesday.
He noted that the US government was committed to assist Somalia in terms of security and the rebuilding of the war-ravaged country.
“ Since January 2013, the United States has been more interested in Somalia--- that is for the first time since they withdrew from the country in 1993 and America’s assistance is more important for Somalia who is now in fight with Al shabaab terrorists who are obstacle to the whole world not only to Somalia” the minister noted.
He said that previous Al Shabaab attacks in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia show that the issues of terrorism was a global and as a result the international community was weighting the eradication of what he described as ‘terror’ in Somalia.
Hiiraan Online English News Desk