A UK supported military facility for Somali National Army was officially opened Saturday in Baidoa aimed at training over 100 soldiers at a time.
In a statement to newsrooms, the UK embassy in Mogadishu said the Baidoa Security Training Centre (BSCTC) ‘will support the SNA and promote long term stability and security in Somalia.’
The new centre will train up to 120 Somali National Army soldiers at a time and will help the SNA improve the quality of its training, the statement read in part.
British ambassador to Somalia Ben Fender said during the opening of the facility attended by Somalia’s defence minister and South West state officials the facility and training of the soldiers will be instrumental in bolstering security in the region.
“The UK is one of the major international providers of support to the Somali National Army. We’re playing a central part in helping the SNA conduct current operations in Lower Shabelle including through giving practical help to the newly recovered areas – like new housing for Sabid community,” Fender said.
The UK ambassador added the forces in Baidoa which are supported by his country ‘have been building defensive positions to make the approach roads into the city more secure.’
Defence Minister Hassan Mohamed on his part thanked the UK government for the support.
“Security and stability is crucial for the future of Somalia. Al Shabaab is a threat to the national security and supporting the army is vital in undermining the extremist efforts.”
“I would like to thank the UK government for their continuous support to Somalia. To the SNA you have an important role to play in securing the country, take advantage of the training provided to better yourself and to secure the country”
The training centre is supported by the British Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF).