We Sent Seven Recce Teams To Somalia Before Mission – Azeez

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 – The Putera 1Malaysia Club sent seven reconaissance (recce) teams to Somalia before mounting its humanitarian aid mission to famine-stricken country, said its president Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim.

He said the first team went on Aug 2 to assess logistics arrangement while the last and main team went on Aug 25.

“The main recce team made up of seven members led by Zulkifli Mohd Noor (ambassador in-charge of North Africa) and Col. Ramlee Sham from the Malaysian Armed Forces then held discussions with the mission members and told us what to do.

“This included what we had to wear and what we cannot wear. So we followed everything according to their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs),” he told Bernama after participating in BernamaTV’s Helo Malaysia programme in tribute of its slain cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd Nor, here tonight.

He added that from all the reports that came back, there was no need for the mission’s members to use bullet-proof vests.

He also said that the mission had 20 vehicles on standby and the team had changed vehicles everyday to avoid being marked out by any of the warring factions in Somalia.

Azeez said the club was now making the necessary arrangements to return to the war-torn country in October to continue its relief efforts.

Earlier, during the interview on BernamaTV, Azeez had said that the aid team had followed every standard operating procedure (SOP) laid out by the recce teams and the Somali government.

Noramfaizul, 39,  who was part of the media corps covering the mission was killed by a stray bullet in Mogadishu on Friday evening.

Meanwhile, Azeez also extended his invitation to opposition leaders, including Lim Kit Siang and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as well as journalists from news portals like The Malaysian Insider and Malaysiakini to join their next mission.

“I will extend an invitation and they can submit the names to us. I will bring them to Somalia to see the situation there,” he said.

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