The U.S. presented $9 million in weapons, vehicles, medical supplies and other equipment to the Somali National Army in a ceremony Jan. 8, 2023, attended by Somali Minister of Defense Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Jama and U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Larry André.
“We cheer the success achieved by Somali security forces in their historic fight to liberate Somali communities suffering under al-Shabaab,” said Ambassador André. “This is a Somali-led and Somali-fought campaign. The United States reaffirms our commitment to support your effort.”
Aside from heavy weapons, equipment included support and construction vehicles, explosive ordinance disposal kits, medical supplies, and maintenance equipment for vehicles and weapons. Most of the supplies are already on their way to Hishabelle and Galmudug States to support SNA troops.
Minister of Defense Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Jama thanked the U.S., saying, “Allow me to convey the appreciation of the Federal Government of Somalia to the Government of the United States of America for the continued support to Somalia’s peacebuilding process and the support for the fight against terrorism. This support comes at a critical time for our forces as we boost their capabilities to combat al-Shabaab.”
The Minister was joined by Chief of Defense Forces Brig. Gen. Odowaa Yusuf Rageh for the ceremony.
The weapons, including light and heavy machine guns, were purchased with U.S. Department of Defense funding. They are marked and registered pursuant to the Federal Government of Somalia’s Weapons and Ammunition Management policy, designed to account for and control weapons within the Somali security forces and weapons captured on the battlefield.
Notification to the UN Security Council is conducted by the Federal Government of Somalia in close coordination with the Office of Security Cooperation of U.S. Embassy Mogadishu inaccordance with UN Security Council resolutions.
The weapons will support SNA-Danab battalions, including battalions currently participating in operations in Hirshabelleand Galmudug, providing an increase in the lethality and mobility of units participating in these operations.