The two-day mission of the Minister of Defense has ended Lorenzo Guerini in Djibouti and Somalia, where he met the Italian soldiers involved in local missions. "The Italian commitment in Africa is unique: in the Sahel, in the Horn of Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea and in Libya, our security is decided and for this it is necessary to converge current efforts towards a systemic vision under the aegis of the European Union ”said the minister, for whom“ the consequences of the crisis in this large area and the strong resumption of the jihadist terrorist threat are reflected in the Mediterranean and in Europe ”. In Djibouti, during his meetings with the president of the Republic of Djibouti Isamail Omar Guelleh and with Defense Minister Hassan Omar Mohamed Bourhan, who thanked him for the work of the Italian military, Guerini said "Djibouti plays a fundamental role for the stability of the region, acting as a facilitator and promoter of dialogue and cooperation between countries in the area and I want to express my applause for the country's efforts in combating international terrorism ”. And then he added "Italy intends to continue supporting the development of local security forces through our training programs".
Just in these days, in fact, Italy has again taken over the command of the Atalanta Naval Force, embarked on a Carabiniere ship. And on board the ship the minister, accompanied by the ambassador of Italy to Ethiopia Arthur Luzzi, addressing the Rear Admiral Luke Pasquale Esposito, Commander of Operation Eunavfor Somalia "Atalanta" and to the Commander of the ship, Captain of Frigate Alexander DeLucia he said "guaranteeing maritime safety is the reason that leads us to be present also in seas far from our coasts, to counter the phenomenon of piracy, which continues to cause great concern and represent a serious threat to the freedom of navigation of merchant traffic. and also for the transport of humanitarian aid ”.
In greeting to the personnel of the Italian Military Support Base of the Mission in Djibouti and of the Bilateral Training Mission of the Somali and Gibutian Police Forces, led respectively by the Colonel Luigi Bigi and the Colonel Joseph Corso, Minister Guerini, in underlining the importance of the work done by the military and the carabinieri in a reality like Djibouti, "small but crucial for its nerve center in the region", said "international cooperation has always been the pillar of Defense action to help strengthen stability and ensure peace. It is our intention to continue to participate significantly in the initiatives of the European Union for the Horn of Africa. The Italian military presence is also to protect national interests ".
Then landed in the Somali capital Mogadishu with a C130 flight of the Air Force, the minister accompanied by the Ambassador of Italy to Somalia Alberto Vecchi, met the Minister of State for Defense Mohamed Ali Hagaa and addressing him he said "the link between our countries has historical roots, Somalia is a precious and indispensable partner and we are aware that the stability of the entire region rests on the prosperity of the Somali Federal Republic". And he added "Italy - as requested by the Somali authorities - will continue to operate alongside the Somali Defense in the training and capacity building of its security forces".
Also in Mogadishu, then, in greeting to the soldiers of the European Union Training Mission Somalia (Eutms) under the guidance of the Brigadier General Fabiano Zinzone, precisely with regard to the command assigned to Italy, he stated “this recognition - allow me to underline it with pride - is the fruit of your high professionalism and your extraordinary daily work in favor of the training of the Somali forces. From anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Guinea to the mission in Somalia, the Italian Armed Forces are committed to improving the local defense and security capabilities in Niger and Mali where the first nucleus of the Takuba Task Force has arrived a few days ago and will soon be deployed a squadron of helicopters for medical evacuation. " And he concluded “we are providing our contribution in European, NATO and UN missions. Being there means working for peace but above all not leaving free space for those who want to undermine stability ”.