Sunday April 22, 2018
Abdullahi Ali Anod, the deputy commander of Somali Army, who presided over the handing-over event, said the Somali government officially assumed the responsibility of all the forces trained by the Emirati government.
Mogadishu (HOL) - The Somali Defense Ministry officially took over the UAE-run military training Base in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, barely six days after United Arab Emirates (UAE) cancelled its military training program in Somalia.
Last week, WAM announced the cancellation of military training and support to Somali security forces in protest of the seizure of $9.6 million USD at Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu.
In a handing over ceremony held at General Gordan Academy, Somali National Army (SNA) officials took charge of the military base and the contingent of Somali forces trained by the UAE.
"We have formally taken the command of the former UAE-run military training centre and all the soldiers trained by our brothers from the United Arab Emirates," said Anod.
Among the military equipment handed over to SNA are 25 land-cruisers, ambulances and trucks.
"We have received military vehicles, trucks, ambulances and other military equipment," he noted.
The commander dismissed reports claiming the centre was looted following the withdrawal of the Emirati instructors.
"I want to confirm that there was nothing happened here (the centre). It was under the control of Somali military," he confirmed.
Early this month, on the eve of 58th anniversary of SNA establishment, Somali Defense Minister, Mohamed Mursal Sheikh had announced that Somali government would take full command of UAE trained forces.
On the 11th April, Somalia announced it was cutting off its military ties with the Gulf nation following what Somalia called a violation of its sovereignty.
In a statement, the Defense Ministry announced the move saying its UAE-trained soldiers would be redistributed into various divisions of the SNA.
"We thank the government of UAE for training our soldiers and supporting us, as for today it is our duty to take responsibility for our soldiers and to pay the salary of forces" read the statement.
Four days later, in what appeared to be a tit-for-tat exchange between the allied countries, the UAE disbanded its military mission in Somalia saying the move was a direct response to the seizure of its plane at the Mogadishu Airport.
"The decision comes in response to Somali forces' seizure of a UAE-registered civil aircraft at Mogadishu Airport and confiscation of money destined to pay Somali salaries," said UAE in a statement posted on WAM.
The Arabian Peninsula nation started its training programme to support Somali government in 2014.