City plans to donate used fire trucks, equipment to sister-city in Somalia

The port city of Bosaso, Somalia. Photo via Wikipedia

The City of Minneapolis is poised to donate used fire trucks, a booking van and crime lab equipment to its sister city Bosaso, Somalia.

The Council’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee voted Thursday to approve the $5,000 donation. The full Council will vote on the gift April 15.

City Council Member Abdi Warsame (Ward 6) said the donation will help strengthen Minneapolis’ relationship with Bosaso. The cities have had a sister-city relationship since 2014.

“We as a nation are living through a period of time when the politics of hate and division are being trumpeted by some who seek to lead our country,” Warsame said. “We, as a city, have the opportunity to defy this rhetoric. Already we have forged a first-in-the-nation relationship with Bosaso. This connection allows us to act on our values of openness and acceptance and strengthens the bonds that tie us all together.”

He said the donated equipment “will be put to use protecting our friends in Somalia.”

In a letter sent to Mayor Betsy Hodges and Council members, Bosaso Mayor Yasin Mire Mohamud said the city has a small fire department lacking in resources and is in the process of creating its first crime lab.

He also thanked city leaders for their partnership.

“It is fitting that Minneapolis, which has become home to the largest population of Somali immigrants, would take the lead on building this wholly unique international connection with Somalia,” he wrote.

Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden, who co-authored the resolution approving the donation with Warsame, said the gift symbolizes the city’s commitment to its relationship with Bosaso.

“We want to stand apart from some very ugly rhetoric that is happening across our country and say for the City of Minneapolis we reject that hateful rhetoric. We value our partnership with the Somali community and with the sister city of Bosaso,” she said.

The City Council approved the sister-city alliance with Bosaso in October 2014 — making it the first city in the country to have a sister city in Somalia.

Bosaso is Somalia’s third largest city with about 700,000 residents.

Minneapolis has 11 other sister-city alliances with cities across the world, including Santiago, Chile; Kuopio, Finland; Ibaraki City, Japan; Novosibirsk, Russia; Tours, France; Winnipeg, Canada; Harbin, China; Uppsala, Sweden; Eldoret, Kenya; Cuernavaca, Mexico; and Najaf, Iraq.