By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Cordial relations exist between the national Army and members of the cabinet.
Prevalent media reports pertaining to scuffles between army officers and the presidency minister have been termed as baseless lies whose main intent is to create fear among the citizenry.
The minister of Defence Hon Ahmed Haji Ali Adami said this during an exclusive interview with the Hornnewspaper in Hargeisa where he refuted claims that army officers based at the Egal International airport scuffled with presidency minister Hon Hirsi Haji Ali.
Recent media reports indicated that Hon Hirsi and army officers at the airport engaged in a free for all armed combat after the army unit refused to vacate their current base at the airport since the ministry of aviation which claims ownership wants to utilize the space for ongoing developments.
Reports of the incident further informed that the fray begun after army officers manning gates to their base refused to let in the presidency minister who subsequently injured a soldier after crashing the gate with his vehicle thus the armed fray.
The defence chief revealed that he was at the airport in pursuit of solving the land issue that had started earlier in day when the aviation minister Hon ????? Ordered the base commander to remove his unit from the airport land.
In Clarification Hon Adami said that the whole saga ensued after the minister was refused entry to the base thus a shouting match of abusive language between the two sides that ended immediately on my intervention thus the entry of the minister to the base.
Said he, “I acknowledge that abusive language was used f=during the incident and the army is investigating the whole issue”
On the issue of who owns the land in dispute, the defence minister said that both the aviation ministry and the army have rights of residence while the land belongs to the public.
“The aviation ministry needs the piece of land to accomplish ongoing developments while the army unit is there to guard the airport,” said Hon Adami.
Though the defence ministry says it has initiated investigations other reports indicate that some army officers are in custody following their arrest late on Saturday night.
This fracas is another example of the malfunctioning communication among government departments since the issue would not have occurred let alone flare to such an extend if the aviation ministry had consulted the defence ministry instead of rushing to the airport and ordering the army to pack and go.
A source within the army informed the Hornnewspaper that officers of the army only obey orders from their chiefs thus the refusal to submit to the aviation minister’s demands, which the officer says were absurd.