Turkey Arms Over 400 Somali Soldiers With Turkey-Made MPT-76 Riffles

Somali State Minister for Defense Mohamed Ali Haga has confirmed that the Turkish government has supplied weapons to the Somali National Army (SNA). The Turkish government has equipped a company-sized Somali army unit which graduated from the Turkish military training camp in Mogadishu two weeks ago.

The Turkish government supplied over 400 soldiers with small arms and machine guns as allowed by the partial UN embargo on Somalia, seeing as she cannot import heavy weaponry due to the risk posed if the weapons fell on the hands of al Shabaab militants.

The main riffles given to the SNA is a Turkish-made riffle called the MPT-76 and is in line with a recent pledge by Turkey to arm SNA ahead of the AMISOM exit and transition.

The Turkish military base in Mogadishu was opened on September 30. Turkey plans to train as many as 10,000 soldiers with the first company graduating in December last year and another expected to start their training soon. Moreover, the Turkish base is also part of the army integrating process for soldiers who were selected from different divisions and regions.


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