AFM trainers complete training of hundreds of Somali soldiers in Uganda

Posted: May 17, 2012 at 1:12 am

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Ready for duty: Hundreds of Somali recruits have completed an extensive military training programme under the auspices of the EU

Karl Stagno-Navarra

A three-man team of Armed Forces military trainers have completed a lengthy training excercise of hundreds of Somali solidiers in Bihanga, Uganda, under the auspicies of the European Union.

An estimated 3,000 recruits are expected to have been trained by the AFM, together with trainers from Spain, Germany and Sweden.

African news agencies reported that hundreds of brand-new bayonets tied to automatic rifles, were held by army recruits during the passing out parade.

"We have trained four companies of the Somali army," says Irishman Michael Beary, the commander of the training force. "We do not only train the soldiers, but also the commanders. Together they will be a serious force that will make Somalia's fourth division the most effective one in their army."

The training programme cost 11 million.

But there are reports of Somali recruits who, after training sessions, defect from the national army to join al-Shabaab.

Somalia's Western-backed interim government is unstable, holding only a few areas in Mogadishu, as they continue to fight a revolt by al-Shabaab.

The Islamist militants recently merged with Al-Qaeda and are said to harbour dozens of Western sympathisers (thus posing a threat to Western security).

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AFM trainers complete training of hundreds of Somali soldiers in Uganda

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May 17th, 2012 at 1:12 am

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