By: Yusuf M Hasan
MOGADISHU (Somalilandsun) – Villa Somalia the official residence of the SFG president Hasan Sheikh is currently besieged by Hundreds of recently Demobilized Somalia National Army-SNA soldiers.
The siege at Villa Somalia ensued after the demobilized SNA soldiers most of them dressed in their uniforms and officers displaying ranks staged a protest demonstration at the Jaale (Comrade) Siad (Barre) monument in Hawdle estate Mogadishu.
The demonstrating men and women now Ex-officers were protesting their dismissal by the SNA Commander General Dahir Khalif Elmi ‘Indo-qarshe’ whom they are accusing of having betrayed them on top throwing them to wolves despite diligence to service.
“The commander erred in firing us from our posts at a time we were engaged in countering Al-Shabaab operations in the Capital city Mogadishu and environs” Said a spokesperson of the out of work soldiers.
The protesting Ex-soldiers who termed their dishonourable discharge from the army as not only detrimental to their families’ welfare and livelihoods but a risk to personal lives due to what they said were certain retribution by Al-Shabaab.
“Yesterday we were fighting Al-Shabaab on behalf of the Federal Government and today it, Government, has dishonourably fired us thus exposing us to the wolves” lamented the ex-soldiers citing their known identity by Al-Shabaab as a sure negative remedy for their insecurity.
After their Jaale Siyad demonstrations the ex-soldiers extended their protest to Villa Somalia where they were augmented by disabled colleagues in an ongoing siege of the presidency in Mogadishu.
While the hundreds of Ex-Soldiers were aghast at their discharge the disabled officers were protesting the lack of support by the Somalia Federal Government and more specifically the withdrawal of food supplies.
Whilst the SFG ministry of defence justified the dishonourable discharge of over 700 officers of various ranks due to some being AWOL-away without official leave and others holding other government jobs the lives of the discharged are surely in danger.
On the other hand sources within the Mogadishu based army headquarters indicate that the firings were in keeping line with the clan politics of SFG president Hasan Sheikh Mahmud whose interference in Military affairs is a covert abetment of Al-Shabaab activities.