As president Silanyo promotes 4393 junior officers and commends former leaders behind formation of the armed forces from civil war militias
By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- From a ragtag force composed of former SNM fighters the Somaliland army has grown to a service that can stand its ground in defense of the country.
This was the unanimous concurrence during functions marking the 23rd anniversary of the Somaliland army held nationwide.
At the main activities at army headquarters in Hargeisa officiated by president Silanyo over four thousand junior officers from captain to corporal were promoted to various ranks.
The promotions that take effect immediately saw junior officers from captain and below see their ranks raise one grade higher thence a captain becomes a major and a corporal becomes sergeant which president Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo who is also commander in chief conferred on them not only for diligence to duty but in conformity to army rules.
In his address president Silanyo who extended congratulations to all members of the Somaliland security forces also gave special mention to citizens who played a major role in establishing the army immediately after the civil war between SNM and forces loyal to late Somalia dictator mohamed Siyad Barre.
“As we commemorate 23 years since our security forces were established a take special, I take this opportunity to commend late president Ibrahim Mohamed Egal and his deputy, Vice President Abdirahman Aw Ali Farah for spearheading the move” said president Silanyo
The president who said that the two leaders purpose of nation building saw them take upon themselves the onerous task of not only demobilizing clan militias but managing to have traditional leaders hitherto antagonists in the civil war of the 1880s and early &0s , contribute men and weapons towards establishing a national army.
While thanking the various traditional leaders for a successful response towards demobilization of clan militias and subsequent contribution of men and weapons to the government, president Silanyo took special notice of late Sultan Mohamed Sultan Farah, for taking the first steps.
The late Sultan Mohamed Farah of the Maroodi-jeeh region based Arab sub-clan was the first to contribute towards the national army when he handed late president Egal a unit of his clansmen numbering 500 men and assorted weaponry who went on to form the nucleus of the current army.
Also to receive special mention was Hasan Ali Abokor who was the first commander of the Somaliland army, whose command is credited with current status of the army.
On the implementation of strategies of his administration towards making the Somaliland army a force to reckon with regional the head of state said.
“In the six years of my administration as president of Somaliland the national army has been transformed greatly through input of large amounts of money and efforts”
According to president Silanyo Among the achievements garnered in his six years in office include
1. Recruitment of large number of soldiers their training
2. Specialized training
3. supply of modern weapons and ordnance as well as unit specific vehicles .
4. Creating of structured command and subsequent awarding of ranks after 20 years without.
5. Increase salary of solders three fold and
6. Establishment of a special welfare fund for frontline based soldiers
While thanking the soldiers for their diligence to duty which has resulted in secure borders, the president who also committed to continued enhancement of their welfare also announced new promotion guidelines.
“As per new promotion guidelines promotions within the armed forces shall be undertake every three years” said the president while announcing the immediate rank elevation for over 4000 junior officers.
Those of the 4393 officers whose rank went up one grade higher range from captain to corporal based all over the country with new rankings taking effect immediately.
For apt performance during operations to stabilize peace occasioned by clan skirmishes in the districts of Eel-afweine and Sinarro in Sanaag region and Dumaye and Dabataag in Sool the president raised the ranks of officers in charge.
President Silanyo also took the opportunity to congratulate former clan militias from Sool and east Sanaag region who joined the county’s armed forces after cessation of hostilities and subsequent reconciliation between their clans and governent.
“I hereby commend former clan Militias from Sool and East Sanaag for successful integration into the armed forces and their reported diligence to service” said the head of state.
While the Armed forces 23rd anniversary festivities were commemorate in all regional capitals of Somaliland, main activities were at army headquarters in Hargeisa where guests included visiting officials from neighbouring countries, political party leaders, senior government reps and forces chiefs as well as thousands of ordinary citizens.