A delegation composed by the undersecretary of state for defence, dr. Matteo Perego of Cremnago, by the operational commander of the inter-force summit, general of the army corps Francesco Paolo Figliuolo and by COVI staff personnel reached Djibouti and Mogadishu to meet the Italian soldiers and take stock of the situation on the progress of the missions in act in the Horn of Africa.
Welcomed by the staff and the commander of the Italian Military Support Base (BMIS), Colonel Gennaro Scotto di Santolo, the members of the delegation met the Italian Ambassador in Addis Ababa, Agostino Palese and the Military Attache for Defense in Ethiopia, Colonel Marco Poddi, with whom they discussed the current social, economic and security situation in the region.
"The Horn of Africa", said the Undersecretary of Defense addressing the Italian soldiers, “it is a part of the world of vital importance, because in this area geopolitical balances are measured which concern the entire Enlarged Mediterranean. Here, you men and women of our Armed Forces, with your commitment, best represent Italy, not only for the professionalism you demonstrate, but above all for your ability to empathize with the local populations and with the countries where we are guests and we help to grow in terms of well-being and safety”. He then concluded by emphasizing that “in the 40 missions and operations in 24 countries of the world where we are present, we represent the values of a country which in such a complicated historical moment does its part to defend democracy and freedom, values which are currently being questioned how has it ever been done in recent times in Europe”.
General Figliuolo addressed the Italian military with the greeting of the Chief of Defense Staff, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone and his staff. He then reiterated the importance of the Italian military base in Djibouti, as a logistical and administrative hub to support the EUTM Somalia mission, MIADIT (the bilateral training mission for the Somali and Djiboutine Police Forces), naval activities related to naval diplomacy and ATALANTA and EMASOH (European Maritime Awareness – Street of Hormuz). "Being here with you today, as operational commander of joint forces, is the greatest satisfaction that can happen to me in my professional life"he concluded.
Yesterday afternoon, a military convoy reached the Mezz Tower, in the port of Djibouti, where Undersecretary Perego and General Figliuolo met a group of Italians living in the young African Republic. Among these, some entrepreneurs who operate in the import/export, construction and logistics sectors and who, over the years, have invested and worked for the modernization of the port area of the city and for the construction of the well-known "tower" " which today stands on the shores of the Red Sea.
This morning, the transfer by plane to Mogadishu, where the Italian soldiers operate in the context of EUTM Somalia (a mission aimed at training the Somali National Security Forces), led by General Roberto Viglietta. The Italian ambassador in Mogadishu, Alberto Vecchi and the Defense Attaché in Mogadishu, vessel captain Mario De Rosa, also welcomed the delegation when the aircraft landed.
In Villa Somalia, the official residence of the President of the Somali Republic, the meeting with Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who thanked the Italian authorities for the commitment and resources that our country is investing in the region, in support of local institutions and populations .
The visit to the Horn of Africa ended with the inauguration of the Xooga Hospital, a military hospital whose construction is one of the rapid-impact projects entirely financed by Italy. Today's ceremony celebrated, in fact, a work that has seen the entire country system engaged in recent years, with all its components, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, that of Defense and the world of entrepreneurship.
The new military hospital in Mogadishu, with 68 beds, modern healthcare equipment, hospital and operating rooms, will offer members of the Armed Forces of Somalia and their families dedicated and timely healthcare, which is particularly valuable in the situation where pour the country in this historical period.