Mareeg.com-The Minister of Defence of the Somali Federal Government was summoned yesterday by legislators to the National Assembly in Mogadishu. Mohamed Sheikh Hassan (Hamud), the Minister, was asked several questions regarding the consistent complaints made by soldiers of the Somali National Army.
Mr. Hamud affirmed that many soldiers have indeed come forward to the parliamentary defence committee and criticized the Ministry of Defence for ‘unfairly’ firing hundreds of senior military officials and personnel earlier this year in February.
He noted that the Ministry had then decided to cut back on soldiers, starting with the ones they felt were ‘incompetent’, ‘inept’ and ‘unprofessional’.
Furthermore, Mr. Hamud said that a majority of the Somali National Army’s personnel are becoming more ‘clan-centered’ and start taking commands from their seniors of certain tribes when they return to Mogadishu after receiving intensive-training exercises in distant regions.
“The ones that return from Bakool, Dhuusamareeb and even Marka begin to take instructions from military commanders that they are loyal to, because of spending quite a lot of time in their areas.” He claimed
The Defence Minister informed the legislators that officials from the Ministry and senior commanders of the Somali National Army have the ability to transfer soldiers to other stations, eg. From Baidoa to Kismayo and that their work-ethics are not supposed to ‘change’.
Mr. Hamud also declared that district commissioner or a regional governor has the authority to appoint certain troops that will be loyal to him, and guard him for personal security reasons.
In the last few months, lower-ranking soldiers from the army have constantly disparaged the Ministry of Defence for not paying their salaries at the rightful times designated in their military contract.