By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun-Since Donald Trump assumed the US presidency, ,his administration committed to anti-terrorism activities has enhanced presence in Somalia.
According to a statement by the African Union,the United States has donated military equipments to AMISOM forces fighting against Al-Shabaab militants who are battling the Somalia federal government for control of the war torn country.
“combat vehicles” were donated to Amisom’s Ugandan contingent by the United States “as part of the continued effort to boost capacity to fight Al Shabaab terrorists” read the AU statement
The vehicles were presented by Brigadier General Miguel A. Castellanos, Commander US Army Deputy Commanding General CJTF-HOA [Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa] Somalia, to the Ugandan Contingent Commander Brigadier General Muhanga Kayanja.”
“As a Contingent, we have been operating at 40 percent capacity in terms of the necessary equipment,” Kayanja said. “This donation therefore comes in handy and will greatly boost our technical and operational capability. We however continue to face a big challenge of the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which have cost us a lot of equipment. We need an urgent solution to this challenge.”
Castellanos said the United States is committed to fighting terrorism in Somalia and that support in terms of donation of vehicles will be extended to all the contingents serving under Amisom.
The equipment included Acmat Bastion armoured personnel carriers branded as Mack products and fitted with an open-top weapon station that can accept a machine-gun, although no weapons had yet been fitted.
The AU said the donation came with spare parts for the vehicles and a maintenance team is to be assigned to train personnel to ensure timely repairs.