January 28, 2020 | 6:41 am
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Somali soldiers graduate from UK-led training course

134 Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers graduated on 7 November from a UK-led training course in Baidoa, the capital of South West State in Somalia. The training is part of the UK’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the capacity of Somali security forces.

During the graduation ceremony, held at a UK-funded training facility in Baidoa, the SNA soldiers demonstrated the combat skills that they have acquired over the past two months which will help them to deliver lasting peace and security in Somalia. The training has equipped the soldiers with vital skills, including training in field-craft, leadership, human rights, first-aid treatment, patrolling and the delivery of defensive operations to enhance their current capabilities.

The pass-out ceremony was attended by senior government officials from South West State, senior military officers and commanders from the SNA, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and UK officials.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony, British Ambassador to Somalia, Ben Fender said:

Congratulations to you all on successfully completing this important training. We hope the new skills you have learnt will be of great benefit to you as you join other men and women on the frontline to support long-term security in Somalia.

The UK is committed to helping build the capacity of the Somali National Army and Somali Police Force so that you will eventually be able to assume full responsibility for the nation’s security.

The Commander of British Forces in Somalia, Colonel JL Baynham, said:

Today is an important day for this joint Somali and British project and I congratulate all those who have made this possible and in particular, the 134 soldiers who stand before us today on this parade. It is their professionalism and dedication that has made this possible and it is they who will help ensure the Somali people will experience peace and prosperity in the years to come.

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