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Don’t loot, Somali soldiers told

Monday, August 12, 2013

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The Somali Ambassador to Uganda, Ahmed Sayid Sheikh Dahir, has advised newly trained Somali soldiers to be patriotic and persevere in the job even when their expectations are not met.

Somalia has been torn apart by civil war since 1991 and has got logistical and military support and training from the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) and the European Union. At the final parade and graduation of 121 Somali trainees at Bihanga Training School in Ibanda district, Ambassador Sheik Dahir advised the trainees, who completed a four months training in company commander, military police and Civilian-Military (CIMIC) cooperation carried out by the European Union Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM), to first offer something before they expect anything from their government. The recruits also trained in international humanitarian law and protection of citizens, gender awareness and human rights.

“After the war in 1986, Ugandan soldiers (NRA) went for five years without (any regular) payment from their government. But they continued working because they wanted to build the peace and stability of their country. It is an open secret that when trained Somalis don’t get what they expect from the government, they resort to looting. Persevere, if you miss something, concentrate on building your country first just like the developed countries did in the earlier years,” he said.

He added that such training came in handy, especially in reinforcing civilian-military cooperation, because the reason why there are still skirmishes in Somalia is because the population is not feeding the military with intelligence information about the al Shabab.

This was the second last EUTM training in Uganda, with the final one scheduled to start later on August 25. Some 175 recruits will be trained until December, before the base is relocated to Jazeera Training Camp in Mogadishu, and Kenya.


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