Turkey inaugurated a military academy in the Somali capital Mogadishu capable of training 1500 soldiers at a time.
Turkey’s Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire attended the inauguration ceremony held at the training facility on Saturday amid tight security.
“This academy will help us reconstruct our not based on clan, not from a particular place, but well-trained forces that represent the Somali people,” Khaire said as reported in the Turkish media.
Located south of Mogadishu, the training facility had been under construction for the last two years.
The facility is spread over four square kilometers and has the capacity to train more than 1,500 troops at a time, according to the Somali government.
More than 10,000 Somali soldiers will be trained by Turkish officers at the base, a senior Turkish official.
Somalia’s government is being helped by the United Nations, the African Union, and the United States, which are assisting it in building a functional national army capable of taking on the fight against the militant al-Shabaab group.
The militants were driven out of Mogadishu in 2010, but their deadly attacks remain one of the main obstacles to stability in the chaotic Horn of Africa country, which lies along one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.