Finns Training Somali Troops in Uganda

Finnish military personnel have begun training Somali security forces as part of an EU operation in Uganda.

Image: EU

A total of 2,000 soldiers are to be trained during two six-month sessions, which are being carried out in Bihanga, Uganda for security reasons.

Finland has sent three military instructors and one 'equality advisor' to take part in the operation, which is being led by Spain. The Ugandan army is also participating.

The soldiers are to serve Somalia's interim government, but some observers say there is a risk that they will defect to the Islamist rebel side -- as some previously trained by the US have done.

Timo Kantola, Head of the Unit for Security Policy and Crisis Management at the Finnish Foreign Ministry, admits that this is a possibility, as Somali society remains in a state of chaos.

"Somalia has been in ruins for a long time, for years, and it is quite clear that there will continue to be problems," he says. "So there is no way to set as a goal that none of these defections will occur."