What UAE military is doing in Somalia


MOGADISHU, Somalia - On Saturday, three military trainers were killed at Gen. Gordon's military training facility in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, with another soldier from Bahrain also killed, in an incident in which Al-Shabaab militants have claimed responsibility.

For a long time, Somalia has been reaching out to friendly nations for military support and UAE is one of the nations which have invested in top-notch military training activities in the Horn of Africa nation which is undergoing stabilisation.

Reports from Somalia’s Ministry of Defence indicate that Somali and UAE officers work on the recruitment of new cadets at the “UAE camp” in Mogadishu commonly known as General Gordon camp. Elite troops are trained here, officials say.

The recruits are then sent to Uganda and Ethiopia for advanced training, a source adds. More training activities take place at the camp. It also serves as a camp for the soldiers once they return to the country and have completed their training.

This camp was closed down in 2018 after the diplomatic dispute between Somalia and UAE over Somalia’s neutral stance on blockading of Qatar by Gulf countries. Qatar and UAE had competing interests in Somalia but UAE's ties were revived by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Since then UAE trainers returned to Mogadishu and the military support, mainly training has resumed. Hassan Sheikh has visited Dubai a couple of times after taking over from Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed better known as Farmajo.

Since 2022 UAE has trained five brigades - three brigades participate in military operations against al-Shabaab while the other two play a role in the security of Mogadishu, which has been improving recently, officials say, noting that the Gulf nation has played a major role in stabilization of the country.

Just like UAE, Turkey, and the US have also been training and equipping Somali soldiers who are taking part in the fight against Al-Shabaab. The Danab elite commandos are trained by the US while GorGor troops are a by-product of Turkey.


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