Procurement: MRAPs In Somalia


July 10, 2015: As Somalia becomes more peaceful, Moslem nations are increasing their contributions. Peace was necessary because for two decades from the early 1990s Somalia had no government to donate anything to, just a bunch of warlords. Many of the contributions are now coming from Turkey and the Arab Gulf states. For example, the UAE (United Arab Emirates) recently donated several dozen vehicles to the Somali police. These ranged from half a dozen RG31 MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles to over a dozen motorcycle. Also included were several dozen 4x4 land cruiser type vehicles. Nine of these are armored. Also included were three tanker trucks.

Because of the remaining al Shabaab Islamic terrorists active in Somalia the RG31s are particularly useful for police patrolling areas where roadside bombs and mines are still encountered. The RG31 is one of the original MRAPs, appearing in 2007 as the “Nyala.” It was developed and built in South Africa. These vehicles originally cost about a million dollars each (depending on accessories) and were designed to resist landmines and roadside bombs. It was developed from the earlier Mamba armored personnel carrier and has an excellent track record. This wheeled (4x4) vehicle weighs eight tons and can carry up to eleven people. Some models, depending on equipment carried, only seat five.

This is only the latest UAE contribution to the Somali security forces. The UAE also paid for a military training center. Turkey and other NATO nations have also contributed training, both in Somalia and elsewhere (Turkey, Europe and the United States.)


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