Somalia now seeking Turkey, Eritrea support

Somalia is negotiating with Turkey and Eritrea for deployment of their military commanders and supply of equipment for the war against Al-Shabaab when the African peacekeepers under Amisom, finally withdraw in 2021.

But the deployment can only be bilateral with the approval of the United Nations Security Council, which despite ordering the phased withdrawal of peacekeepers is aware that Somalia’s security forces lack the capacity to protect the whole country.

Turkey has been Somalia’s leading donor and has invested billions of dollars in infrastructural projects—roads, hospitals, the Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu and schools—while Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia have recently forged what is known as the Cushitic Alliance, to foster co-operation on economic and security issues among the Horn of Africa countries.

The Turkish ambassador to Kenya Ahmed Cemil Miroglo said he is not aware of such consultations and referred us to their embassy in Somalia and Eritrea.

Eritrea restored relations with Somalia last year, after nearly 15 years of animosity—with Mogadishu accusing Asmara of funnelling money to the Al-Shabaab.

If Turkey and Eritrea are to step in, it could be a win for Somali given that Amisom, with the help of donors, was supposed to train and equip 30,000 Somalia soldiers before exiting, but so far have only trained 10,000.

Source: The East African

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