Somalia’s Justice Minister Hassan Moalim has announced that his country had collected $5 million to support Trkiye following last month’s devastating earthquakes, stressing they “are committed to returning the favor to the Turkish people.’ More than 46,100 people were killed in Trkiye by earthquakes that struck on Feb. 6, according to officials. The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes, centered in southern Kahramanmaras province, affected more than 13 million people across 11 provinces, including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, Elazig, and Sanliurfa. Moalim, also a member of the National Committee for the Relief of earthquake victims in Trkiye, told Anadolu on Tuesday that “the Somali government and people were deeply shocked about the scale of the catastrophe that struck our Turkish brothers.’ He added that the large scale of the disaster in Trkiye “spurred solidarity from all segments of Somali society.’ Moalim explained that “Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud urged the government to form the National Committee for the Relief of earthquake victims in Trkiye, as an expression of the Somalis’ support for the Turkish people.’ On Feb. 15, Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre announced the formation of a national ministerial committee to support quake victims in Trkiye, stressing that “the government and people of Somalia stand by the Turkish people.” ‘The Somali people, who have not provided aid to other countries since the collapse of the central government in 1990, collected $5 million, in support of the earthquake victims in Trkiye,’ Moalim also said. “The capabilities of Somalia, which is still healing its wounds, may not meet the needs of our Turkish brothers at this difficult time, but that does not prevent us from providing support to Trkiye,’ he added. “Turkish support for Somalia included all aspects, including governmental, military and civil institutions, this prompts Somalis to remember Trkiye’s political and military role in the region and return the favor,’ he said. Trkiye is at the forefront of countries supporting Somalia during its security and humanitarian crises, the latest of which was medical support for the October 2022 bombing in the capital, which claimed more than 100 lives. Broad solidarity Somali popular solidarity with Trkiye did not stop at collecting financial donations. According to Moalim, Somalis in both official and private institutions also showed support by mourning the souls of the earthquake victims. The minister said, “the solidarity of the Somali people with their Turkish brothers stems from deep relations that have been consolidated over the past 10 years.’ ‘Trkiye and Somalia’s relations deepened in 2011 when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Somalia during a massive drought that claimed thousands of lives,’ he noted. He also praised Trkiye’s handling of the earthquake disaster, saying it “showed the world its capabilities in disaster management. To begin reconstruction one month after the disaster is an event that was never witnessed in 100 years.” Strengthening relations Moalim stressed that his country’s government is working to strengthen relations with Trkiye in various fields. ‘Since 2011, Trkiye has provided a lot to Somalia, starting with its support for its humanitarian crisis, through the implementation of infrastructure projects, to contributing to rebuilding state institutions and supporting the government budget,’ according to the Somali minister. He added that “Somalia has concluded several agreements for cooperation with Trkiye in various fields, including education, health, economy, infrastructure, and investment.’ Regarding the Turkish contribution to building state institutions, the minister indicated that there is “cooperation between the Somali and Turkish governments regarding the exchange of experiences to support our government institutions.” Moalim said “the cooperation between the defense ministries of the two countries” has also been significant “as Trkiye plays a major role in rehabilitating the Somali army.” He stressed that “the army units trained by Trkiye play a major role in the field victories achieved by the Somali government in its military operations against terrorism.’ *Ikram Imane Kouachi in Ankara contributed to this report.
Source: Anadolu Agency