Mogadishu – A hospital facility designed to provide quality treatment and care to Somali security forces has been handed over to the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) by the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).
The 68-bed facility located in Mogadishu was commissioned on Thursday at a ceremony presided over by Somalia’s Federal Minister of Defence, Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef, and Italy’s Undersecretary of State for Defence, Matteo Perego Di Cremnago.
ATMIS built the facility as a Quick Impact Project (QIP) with funding from the Italian Government. QUIPs are aimed at bringing basic services closer to the people and involve the construction of schools, health facilities, police stations and the sinking of boreholes among other necessities.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Souef said the facility will help improve treatment and care offered to Somali security forces as they continue their offensive against Al Shabab militants.
“Today is a proud moment for all of us. This project is being inaugurated at a time when the SNA (Somali National Army) is fighting against the Khawarij (Al-Shabaab militants). The facility will definitely support the SNA,” said Ambassador Souef.
Somalia’s Federal Minister of Defense, Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur, echoed the SRCC’s remarks noting that the facility would go a long way in providing urgent medical attention to soldiers and other security officers wounded on the battlefield.
“This facility is critical to the safety of our soldiers engaged in the fight against terrorism. We acknowledge the contribution of the Government of Italy and ATMIS to this facility,” the Minister said.
On his part, Somalia’s Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Odowaa Yusuf Rageh, said the opening of the facility was a significant step in the transition process and hailed the collaboration between the SNA, ATMIS and Italy, which enabled the successful implementation of the project.
“This is also a lesson for future stabilisation projects in support of the Somali National Army or other sectors. Beneficiaries need to be consulted about their needs so that we can determine what should be implemented and what needs to be prioritised,” said Gen. Odowaa.
Italy’s Undersecretary of State for Defence described the facility as timely assistance, adding that it will significantly benefit soldiers fighting to liberate Somalia from Al-Shabaab terrorists.
“We are also grateful to ATMIS for their support in the construction of this hospital. This facility will serve the soldiers of Somalia who are involved in combating terrorism, which is our common enemy,” said Mr Di Cremnago.