Strengthening Afro-Middle Eastern defence ties

Qatari government donates 68 armoured vehicles to Somalia

Somalia on Thursday received 68 armoured vehicles donated by the government of Qatar, in a bid to strengthen defence ties between both nations.

Qatar’s defence ministry in a statement in Doha said the armoured vehicles, delivered on Thursday in Mogadishu, would strengthen the Somali state, which is battling an insurgency.

Defence analysts see the donation as a sign that Doha is pushing for influence in the country with the role of its Gulf rival, the United Arab Emirates, under strain, according to a Reuters report.

Somalia, a Horn of Africa country located on key shipping routes, has refused to take sides in the rift between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, a UAE ally.

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But relations with the UAE have become strained over the UAE’s investments in Somaliland. In April, Somalia disbanded a UAE program to train some of its troops.

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