Today’s photo features graduating Somalian Army conscripts being sworn in next to some new Turkish MPT-76 rifles and MG-3 general purpose machine guns made by Turkey’s state-owned small arms manufacturer MKEK. The photo was taken at a graduation ceremony for 185 Somalian officer cadets at the Somalian-Turkish Task Force Command in Mogadishu. The Ceremony was attended by Somalia’s National Defence Minister, Turkey’s ambassador to Mogadishu, Somalia’s chief of general staff and senior officers from the Task Force Command. A new cadre of officer cadets also began their training during the ceremony.
The 7.62x51mm MPT-76 was adopted by Turkey in 2016 and is currently in the process of replacing the Turkish army’s MKEK-made G3s. Turkey is one of Somalia major foreign defence suppliers with the two countries entering into a series of military cooperation agreements between 2010 and 2015. Various AK variant remain the Somalian Army’s standard issue rifle but it may be that Somalia are interested in purchasing the MPT-76 or other Turkish small arms in the future.