MOGADISHU, Somalia – The Turkish government has opened a military training base, its largest in Africa, in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The Turkish chief of staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire inaugurated the newly-constructed facility on Saturday.
Khaire thanked Turkey for “unwavering” support to help Somalia rebuild its fractured army and stabilize the war-torn country.
Two hundred Turkish military officers will train 10,000 Somali soldiers at the base which includes army dormitories, training grounds and prisons.
Somalia’s army, including former militia, is struggling to battle the Islamic extremist al-Shabab insurgents who are fighting to establish an Islamic state under strict Shariah law.
The Somali government is challenged to take over the country’s security before the scheduled withdrawal of 22,000 African Union forces late next year.