By Ahmed Abdulkadir Ibrahim
In this short article I want to demonstrate the importance of national army and giving them their priority in order to produce a strong and capable army that can safeguard and defend our country’s interests.
If I remind you the narrative of the Somali national army, 1991 was the end of the Somali national army, it was when arms, tanks and other military supplies had been taken over by the allied rebel forces. The rebel groups that were structured as a clan-based militia had surrounded the military personnel, tanks and supplies of the Somalia national Armed forces which was the beginning and the base of dismemberment of the armed forces and persistent failure of their re-formation afterwards. It is still unlikely that the country will get its troops which are free from the clan or regional interest at the same time difficult to get forces standing for the interests of the people by the people for the people of Somalia.
Also we lost training facilities, be it the schools that used to train and graduate the professional and skilled Somalia officials such as Gen. Ali Samatar, Gen. Mohamed Farah Adid, Gen. Gabyre, Gen. Daud the list is goes on. Also, these schools have left many skilled soldiers who stood up for my nation’s interest before collapse.
During the stateless period there was no central army training academy in the country except that AMISOM troops trained small parts of the army in their bases, also there are bases which are under the command of the Turkey and UAE. It is not surprising that you see Somali soldiers who were trained in the Turkish military camp in the Jazeera beach of Mogadishu to sing the glory of Mustafa ataturki, a Turkic legend without knowing their Somali heroes. Also, Somali forces trained by different foreign countries might pose further difficulties when it comes to harmony and the discipline among the various units, thus adding further constraints to an already fragmented and divided troops among clan lines.
To develop ethical and professional army, it is essential to prepare schools and trainers that can serve for the Somali people in a sense of Somalism and loyalty. Non Somali Soldiers that are currently operating in the country can transfer knowledge and experience in the matters related to the investigation, methods and tactics of operation and so on to the Somali soldier, but cannot train a Somali soldier from basic training “parade marching” to professional level.
To produce the soldiers that we need today, I propose the following points:
- Building military academies with complete facilities or to repair the old ones
- To allocate a specific budget for the national army, that includes training and equipment
- Providing qualified trainers
- Providing adequate incentives and benefits for the personnel
- It is also important to review the formation of the current Somali National Army, to ensure sharing of all the Somali regions, disarming former clan and warlords militants to avoid weakening the army or their merge future arms.
In conclusion AMISOM forces will not remain forever and without adequate investment there is no possibility to get skilled and professional soldiers.
It is also important to review the formation of the current Somali National Army, to ensure sharing of all the Somali regions, disarming former clans and warlords militants to avoid weakening the army. Building a unified and patriotic army, whose allegiance to the country is unquestionable and above the clan rivalries that bedevilled our country for so long must an urgent priority for the current government and the ones that will come after it.
Ahmed Abdulkadir Ibrahim
MA in Public Policy
Email: [email protected]
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