Despite the 1992 United Nations arms embargo against Somalia, the United States today handed over 26 military vehicles, uniforms and water tanks to the Somali National Army (SNA) at the largest base of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in Mogadishu, Hallane.
The arms embargo states, "All Member States shall immediately implement a general and complete arms embargo on all deliveries of weapons and military equipment to Somalia until the Council decides otherwise," yet the Somali military and police have received military equipment in the last week from the US and Japan.
Guests at today's handover ceremony included Somali Deputy Prime and Minister for Business and Industrials Abdiwahab Ugaas Hussein Ugaas, African Union High Representative for Somalia Jerry John Rawlings, Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Wafula Wamunyinyo, AMISOM Command Chief Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti and the Deputy of Somali National Army General Abdikarin Yusuf Dhegabadan.
The military equipment was handed over by Ambassador Rawlings to the deputy prime minister as part of the international community’s support to the Somali government in their effort to stabilize the country.
Today's donation included cars intended for government officials, as explained by Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti.
“This military support is from the United States of America through the Department of State. It is allocated for the Somali National Army through the African Union and includes 16 trucks, 4 Hilux cars, 6 four wheel drive vehicles, one water tank, and military uniforms," said Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti, who took over as the AMISOM Chief Command this month. Deputy Prime Minister Abdiwahab Ugaas Husein welcomed the support.
“The Somali government and Somali National Army are very glad to have such support. We really appreciate for their efforts of standing with Somali government. This support will add more value to the task of the military," said the deputy, referring to the ongoing battle against al-Shabaab militants.
“This will enable us to double our efforts of getting rid off al-Shabaab from all the Somali regions, as we force them several regions and Somali National Army is greatly pleased with these supplies," he told Somalia Report. Omar Ismail Enow, a Somali National Army commander, who attended the ceremony today also confirmed Somalia Report that this is the first and largest assist that the Somali National Forces receives since his service of SNA
“I was admitted to the SNA 2007. We usually receive a uniform, but this was the biggest and the first aid that we received since I have been Commander. This is good and it will increase our work for our nation. We didn't have any good vehilces to carryout operations. While in battle and front lines, these cars can deploy hundreds off commanders to the battle scene and it will make easy our transportation division," he told Somali Report.
He added that the Somali National Army were in need for uniforms in order to recognize them as SNA forces. This comes a week after the Japanese government handed to the Somali Police Forces 16 Land Cruisers, 2 ambulances, 2 trucks, bullet proof vests and helmets as part of the global support and development to Somalia.