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British Army completes training of first Somali battalion

25 March 2020
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The first Somali National Army (SNA) battalion to be trained by the British Army gradated on 18 March.

"Over 400 SNA soldiers have been trained over 12 months forming the first battalion," the UK Embassy in Somalia announced the following day. "At the graduation ceremony the UK handed over a military barrack that will house up to 450 Somali troops and act as the military headquarters for the 8th Brigade in South West State."

South West State is one of Somalia's six federal states. The new barracks is located in Baidoa, the capital of Bay region.

"Covid permitting, our ambition is to have a fully formed UK-trained brigade within a year," UK Ambassador Ben Fender said in a tweet.

The training began in January 2019, with the new Baidoa Security Training Centre being completed in the following month.

The new 1st Battalion of the 8th Brigade, 60th Division stands outside its new barracks in Baidoa. (UK Embassy Somalia)The new 1st Battalion of the 8th Brigade, 60th Division stands outside its new barracks in Baidoa. (UK Embassy Somalia)

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