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By Godfrey Olukya 13-4-2013

The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission ambassador Mahamat Saleh Annadif today congratulated the Somali national Army as it marked 53 years since its formation.

The Somali national army was founded in 1960 under the command of the late General Daud Abdulle Hirsi, a renowned Somali hero.’On this anniversary, I pay tribute to the efforts of the national army liberating their country,’ said Amb Annadif.

He said that the army, which is only now recovering and rebuilding after being disbanded during the decades of civil war had played an important role, supported by African Union troops, in liberating most of southern Somalia from the Al Qaeda affiliated extremist group al Shabaab.

He acknowledged that the Somali national army still faced many challenges and said that AMISOM was committed to helping build up their capacity through training and mentoring. ‘As we help them confront the al Shabaab, we are also
training them to serve and protect every citizen of the country,” he added.

Currently nearly 400 Somali troops have been trained by AMISOM in Mogadishu and at Bihanga, Uganda. AMISOM-in collaboration with partners-is making arrangements to shift most of the trainings for the army to the newly
refurbished Al Jazira training base in southern Mogadishu once all the on-going processes have been completed.

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