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Turkey To Help Somalia To Build Its Biggest Military Base Ever

 2017-03-21 17:56:02.0

Turkey To Help Somalia To Build Its Biggest Military Base Ever

Magadishu: Turkey will be joining hands with Somalia, to defeat al-Qaeda faction by building its largest military base abroad in the Eastern Africa country.

The $50 million dollar base in Mogadishu will open in April and will help Somalian government to train atleast 500 new troops a year to fight against al-Shabaab rebels.

An on-going war with the Islamist group, al-Shabaab, coupled with nearly three-year drought has almost crippled the country's economy – leading to the present day's famine.

The facility is reported to be around 400 hectares in size and will house three military camps close to Mogadishu's airport and the port of Mogadishu.

Turkey has reportedly been investing massively in Somalia through reconstruction and infrastructure development including roads and hospitals and has helped provide military support and aid since 2011.

Turkey has planned to train and rebuild the Somali army at the Mogadishu base for years, as troops have reportedly not been professionally trained or routinely received salaries leading to major security problems in the country.

Turkey is facing regional competition in the region from the UAE , which also wants to build up its military presence in the region.

The UAE signed a deal with Somaliland Parliament in February, allowing them to build its military base in the port town of Berbera.

"The military deal with UAE is a clear sovereign matter to reach international agreements with countries and will help our long running bid or recognition as an independent country," said the chairman of political party UCID, Faysal Ali Warabe Warabe.

The UAE have recently expanded their military in the neighboring Eritrea, to allow more military ships and aircrafts to be based in the ports of Assab.

There has been plenty of help for Somalia coming from Turkey in recent weeks.

On Friday, the Turkish Airlines announced it will send a plane filled with aid to help the millions of people that are facing starvation.

Celebrities and social media users, united under the hashtag #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia, raised money in support of famine victims in the country.

" As the only airline that connects Somalia to the world, we'll be more than happy to deliver your love and assistance to Somalia on your behalf," Turkish Airlines pilot said in a video message posted on Twitter yesterday.

A lingered drought has caused widespread food shortages across the south of Somalia, leading to an implementing famine status.

Only last month, when the UNICEF warned about that a potential 270,000 children were at risk of severe acute malnutrition due o the drought.

The Somlai prime minister tweeted on 2 March that his "priority and first emphasis" was to "assist the people affected by the severe drought and build resilience".


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