10 May 2014

Somalia: Former Soldiers Protest Ministry of Defence Over 'Wrong Dismissal'

Hundreds of former soldiers and senior officials from the Somali National Army protested the Ministry of Defence today outside the National Assembly building in Mogadishu. The demonstrators protested the government for improperly dismissing them in early February 2014.

The former army personnel demanded from the Parliamentary Defence Committee to know why their names were listed in a document submitted by the Ministry of Defence to the Commander in-Chief of the Somali National Army Dahir Adan Emi, which ordered the dismissal of almost 700 'incompetent' soldiers.

Several Members of Parliament that were present at the demonstration, have labeled the firing of hundreds of soldiers as 'indecent' and mentioned that their rights need to be protected despite whether the decree gets sent from the most senior officials in the Ministry of Defence.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Defence Committee said that discharging the soldiers was a 'huge mistake' as many of them have served in the Somali National Army for decades and pledged that the defence committee will follow up on the matter and protect the civil rights for civil servants.

In a press briefing in Mogadishu on 4th February 2014, the Commander in-Chief of the Somali National Army Dahir Adan Elmi claimed that the soldiers became 'corrupt', 'incompetent' and that could hinder national security which thus resulted in the firing of the hundreds of military personnel.

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