MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Dozens of Somali commandos completed military training and have paraded in a ceremony held in a camp in Turkey’s western province of Isparta, having in attendance of military officials from the two countries.
The newly-trained units will join hundreds of Gorgor special forces, who had been trained by Turkey, to boost fight against the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab which controls large swathes of territory in south and central Somalia.
Over the past months, there has been criticism about alleged involvement of Turkish-trained forces in attacks against opposition leaders and peaceful protests calling for the outgoing president, whose term ended on February, to quit.
Local media reported that Gorgor special forces were participating in armed clashes in the capital Mogadishu between rival groups of the army after parliament had voted to extend president’s term. Opposition leaders also called on Turkey to make clear its position on the outgoing president’s decision to serve beyond his term and participation of troops it had trained in efforts to curb rights by Somali citizens to take to the streets and voice their concerns over the move.
A military attache at the Somali embassy in Turkey General Mohamed Mohamud Hussein said the 7th batch of Turkish-trained special forces had completed training in Isparta and stressed that training for new members of Gorgor commandos will continue.
He thanked Turkey for its efforts in standing by Somalia’s army to ensure it stands again on its feet as the country grapples with aftermath of a three-decade long conflict.
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