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Qatar, Somalia to strengthen military ties

Sunday January 27, 2019

Qatari Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs Khalid al-Attiya met here on Thursday with Somalian Defense Minister Hassan Ali Mohamed and discuss ways to boost bilateral ties in the military fields.

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The two sides discussed means to bolster military and defense cooperation, according to a statement tweeted by the Directorate of Moral Guidance at the Qatari Ministry of Defense.

The Somali minister attended ceremonies in Doha marking the graduation of the 14th batch of officers of the armed forces, interior ministry and other security agencies at the Ahmed bin Mohamed Military Academy.

The Qatari defense ministry had announced on Jan. 17, 2019 that Somalia has received at the seaport of Mogadishu a grant of 68 advanced military vehicles provided by the Qatari armed forces.

The ministry said the grant came within the framework of Qatar’s support for the Somali people and government.

The grant would hopefully help the institutions of the state and the internationally-recognized central government to bolster security and combat terror and extremism.

Somalia has been the scene of bloody conflict for years between the central government and the Islamist al-Shabaab Movement, which wages attacks on military as well as civil installations in and outside the capital Mogadishu.

The United Nations’ envoy to Somalia Nicholas Haysom warned on Jan. 3 that the al-Shabaab was still the largest source of insecurity in the Horn of Africa country.

Al-Shabaab is a Somalia-based Islamist group, which has split into two groups, with one still pledging allegiance to Al-Qaeda, the other to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

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