The Chinese government has donated military vehicles and military equipment to the Somali government, in a renewed push to boost the country’s war against terrorism.
A shipment of military vehicles including Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) donated by the world’s second-largest power to the Somali National Army (SNA) arrived in Mogadishu Friday.
Apart from the vehicles, the Chinese Ambassador to Somalia Fei Shengchao handed over ambulances, water trucks, landmine detectors, and other military hardware from China to the country’s Defense minister Abdikadir Mohamed Nur Jama.
The Chinese diplomats noted that the military hardware is “intended to be used by the Somali military in the fight against Al-Shabaab – a terrorist group that operates from the Horn of Africa nation, and which has also been carrying out attacks in the neighboring countries,”
“The vehicles will be used by the Somali National Army and that China and Somalia have a deep relationship, thanking them for their support to the Armed Forces,” Jama said
Friday’s gesture, according to the Somali Minister, demonstrates the “deep relationship,” between the two countries and that Somalia “thanks them (the Chinese) for their support to the local Armed Forces.”
His sentiments were echoed by the Commander of the Armed Forces General Odowa Yusuf Rage who noted that the military support was “delivered to the Somali National Army in a timely manner.” He further indicated that there is other equipment on the way that will be delivered to Mogadishu by Beijing.
On several previous occasions, the Somali National Army (SNA) has handed over all types of military vehicles to pro-Somali forces in a bid to thwart Al-Shabaab spread, but the forces have not yet succeeded in capturing many areas controlled by the group.
Forces drawn from the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have been operating inside Somalia since 2007 trying to help the country back on its feet. However, the AMISOM mandate is almost up and the responsibility to ensure peace and stability will be in the hands of the country’s military. This reinforces the significance of Chinese donation.
The consignment was delivered on a day the new Special Envoy for Horn of Africa Affairs of China H.E. Amb Xue Bing also visited Somalia. Amb. Xue held a meeting with Somali leaders including President Mohamed Farmaajo and Prime Minister Mohamed Roble as well as the country’s Foreign Minister with whom he later held a joint media briefing on his visit.
“H.E. Amb Xue Bing introduced the Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa to Somali leaders.” Part of the joint statement read.
“They exchanged views on the implementation of the outlook to support African nations addressing the triple challenges of security, development & governance the African way.” The statement added
The Somali leaders welcomed H.E. Amb Xue Bing’s visit &his appointment as Special Envoy for Horn of Africa Affairs. They noted that they looked forward to the positive role played by the Chinese Special Envoy in the region, amid talks revolving around the bilateral cooperation between China and Somalia in various other fields.