18 December 2012

Somalia: India Promises Defense Aid to Somalia

The Indian High Commissioner in Nairobi, Sibabrata Tripathi, has expressed the Indian government's readiness to actively support Somalia's effort to rebuild its defense forces with a view to enhance overall regional security.

His statement follows an official visit he made to the Somali Ministry of Defense in Mogadishu on Monday (December 17th) where he held talks with the Somali Defense Minister, Abdihakim Haji Mohamud Fiqi, on a wide range of ongoing issues. During the discussion, the visiting High Commissioner praised recent positive developments in Somalia and expressed his country's readiness to provide military aid to help bolster Somalia's security forces.

Mr. Fiqi, who noted the recent positive gains against Al-Shabaab with the help of AMISOM and other positive forces, said terrorism was still the biggest threat to Somalia. He highlighted the new government's ongoing security commitments against terrorism, piracy and other security challenges.

The visit of the Indian High Commissioner was the first visit by an Indian official to Somalia since the collapse of the Somali central government in 1991, but India is, reportedly, the second country after Turkey to promise direct military assistance to the new Government. IGAD has already launched a Grand Stabilization Plan for Somalia whose objectives include providing coordinated support to the new government to establish a strong national defense force

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