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Turkish military force sets up first African training base in Somalia

ANKARA Turkey (Xinhua) -- Turkey has completed equipping its first military base in Africa in the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, which is also the second overseas military installation, local daily Sabah said Friday.

The base, which is expected to be operational soon, will host Turkish military officers to train Somali troops against the terrorist organization.

Some 200 Turkish officers will be deployed to the base in the first stage to train 10,500 Somalian soldiers, the report said.

Turkey and Somalia inked a defense cooperation agreement on Jan. 25, 2015 in the framework of Turkey’s pledge to build up a national army for the Somalian state. The deal has been subsequently approved by the United Nations.

The military base is seen as output of increasing security threats which caused concerns in both Mogadishu and Ankara.

Turkey has been providing military support to Somalia for over five years, under the military and financial cooperation deals between the two countries.

Somalian authorities face serious challenges from the al-Qaida-aligned Al-Shabab terrorists, which also pose security threats to the Turkish mission in Somalia.

Turkish first overseas military base was established in Qatar in April as part of a security agreement.


Somalia seeks apology, compensation from U.S. over deadly airstrikes

MOGADISHU Turkey (Xinhua) -- Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Galmudug is seeking apology and compensation from the U.S. after 13 of its soldiers were killed and seven others injured by a U.S. airstrike on Wednesday.

The northern region’s Information Minister Mohamud Aden Osman called on Washington to carry out further investigations into the airstrikes.

"One soldier is missing. The strike has also caused the destruction of two battle-wagons belonging to Galmudug forces," said Osman in a statement on Friday.

"None of our security services (state and national level) were informed about the attack," said Osman, terming the deadly U.S. airstrike an attack.

Osman said the state was very disappointed that the U.S. Pentagon had used an excessive force against Galmudug forces with "misinformation" from authorities in the semi-autonomous Puntland state that made the U.S. forces beleive they were targeting Al-Shabaab militants.

"We suspect that Puntland State of Somalia provided wrong information deliberately with its own interest to secure the attack," Osman said.

He said the the misinformation was aimed at creating "hostility that can undermine the relationship between the two states."

"This will also has a repercussion in the fight against terrorism, and will cause the attention of the terror war to be forgotten and turn to political rivalry," he said but added Galmudug would remain determined in the fight against the Al-Shabaab Islamist group.

The U.S. airstrike on Wednesday hit a camp of Galmudug forces in eastern Galkayo. Galmudug authorities initially said 22 soliders were killed and 16 others injured in the bombardment, which sparked street demonstrations against U.S. forces.

Osman said the incident could benefit Al-Shabaab militants who want to disrupt Somalia’s upcoming elections which had been delayed twice. Voting is expected to begin in late October for a new parliament and lawmakers will then choose a president on Nov. 30.

"In this critical time, the only option we have is to cooperate and not inciting violence and hostility," he said.

The U.S. has carried out a series of airstirkes in Somalia against Al-Shaabaab, which has been fighting to topple the Somali government for years.

Somalia improves payroll system to pay troops on time

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somalia government said Thursday it plans to implement an improved payroll system to ensure that its troops are paid in a consistent and timely manner to step up fight against Al-Shabaab effectively.

Finance Minister Mohamed Adan Ibrahim said a revised payroll process which includes robust fiduciary controls will pilot a new automated and functional payroll process for the Somali National Army (SNA).

"This new system will reduce loopholes for corruption and enable government funds to be efficiently used and accounted for," Ibrahim said during a meeting in Mogadishu.

He said the initiative supports the progress made on the security sector reform agenda, which the government has committed to.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said the Somali troops on the frontlines work tirelessly to fight Al-Shabaab and provide security and stability for the country.

"Our government has a duty of care to pay our troops, and to do so in a regular, accountable and transparent manner," the President said.

"A functioning and effective payroll system is central to the building of a national security sector architecture and I am pleased to see the coming together of key government ministries and the army to make this happen," he added.

The initiative, funded by UK aid and the European Union, is part of a wider effort for the development of comprehensive national security architecture with the regions.

Minister of Defense, Major General Abdulkadir Sheikh Ali Dini said the improved payroll system will enable the Somali National Army to stabilize the country; allowing for focus and progress on the important issues.

"We are all working together to improve our systems to ensure that our military is to be paid the wages they are entitled to, on time, no matter where they are located," said Dini.



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