The US Department of Defense has been running a secret base in Somalia to conduct drone missions and train Somali forces.
Abdighani Abdi Jama, state minister for the presidency in the interim regional administration in the Somali city of Kismayo was quoted by Foreign Policy as saying that the US has bases in the country. He pointed towards a large compound near the city’s airport and said that they have high technology, drones and many more things.
The Jama’s allegation has been confirmed by others. Due to operational security issue, AFRICOM spokesman Chuck Prichard said that he cannot provide accurate details but he just stated that the US AFRICOM has sent a limited number of trainers as well as advisors and a small military coordination cell for supporting international efforts to bring stability in Somalia.
The base has housed about 40 military personnel. He also said about a small runway on the grounds of the base that is used to launch UAVs, Jama added.These drones conduct "intelligence" and "counterterrorism operations," he said.
Sources also said that the US special forces, based at Kismayo have participated in ground operations alongside the African Union.
A second location was also mentioned that is being used a secret facility by the US military. It is located at Baledogle, north of Mogadishu in Somalia. It is currently used by the US contractors to train a new squadron known as the Danab, or "Lightning."
The project is being overseen by Bancroft Global Development but the company denied any links with the US government.
"We have nothing to do with the Americans," an employee said."We’re in charge of training Danab. We have nothing to do with the Americans, and the Americans have nothing to do with us," the employee added.