Somaliland: Army to Review Death Sentences Imposed on Civilians

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SL Army tanks  & Right-Commando battalion displays colour/fileBy: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The Armed forces court martial is set to review sentences it imposed on a number of civilians.

This was divulged by the minister of defence Hon Ahmed Haji Adami during his ministerial annual briefing to parliament’s House of Representatives where the MPs were informed that the army is full control of all national boundaries.

The court martial review in question is related to sentences the court imposed on civilians who were accused of storming a military camp in Hargeisa in the early morning of 6th June 2012. The court martial came a day after Civilians attacked artillery battalion base in Hargeisa thus the 17 death and 5 life imprisonment sentences imposed by the army court.

At the lower house briefing that was presided by the speaker of parliament Hon Abdirahman Irro, the defence chief also informed that operational cooperation between the national army and the interior ministry controlled Coast guards is producing good results, Said he, “Such results are exemplified by the joint capture of 42 illegal immigrants at Geerisa in Salal region”

As per the never ending skirmishes between the contingents of the national army and tribal militias in sool region, the defence minister said that the militias have been scattered following recent successes which ended with a total rout of the militias from their main base in Sool-joogto.

Hon Adami informed that while the rout of the militias was the main objective of the army, this outcome has translated to random hits by the displaced militias as seen in the attack at Tukaraq where unidentified gunmen killed 3 civilians and seriously injured 4 others.

The legislators were also informed that the recent head count of army has ended successfully and the defence ministry will announce results once army headquarters does the same.

According to speaker Irro The legislators who pounded the defence minister with a multitude of questions were satisfied as per the status of national boundaries and national security, Said he, “the urgent & tangible matter to be accomplished by the defence ministry is the review of the death and life sentences imposed on a number of civilians by a military court martial recently”

For articles related to the army civilian confrontations in Hargeisa visit http://somalilandsun.com/index.php/community/702-somaliland-skirmishes-leave-7-dead &

http://somalilandsun.com/index.php/community/710-somaliland-court-martial-sentences-17-to-death

National Army-Synopsis

The Somaliland Armed Forces are the main military forces in Somaliland, a republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia. They are composed of three principle military units: the army, the navy and the air defence forces. The Somaliland Police Force is also a part of the internal security forces but is subordinate to the military. The current person in charge of Somaliland’s Armed Forces is the Minister of Defence Ahmed Haji Abdi Adami.

Somaliland spends more on its armed forces than any other item, allocating 25% of revenues to the military.[2] An article on the 2006 budget cited a figure of approximately 41 billion Somaliland Shilling, approximately $6 million.[2] Due to Somaliland’s lack of international recognition, the region receives no foreign assistance to maintain its military. Somaliland’s air force consists of a small number of MiG-17s and MiG-23s that are currently not operational due to lack of spare parts

Army

The army is organized into 12 divisions which comprise 4 tank brigades, 45 mechanized and infantry brigades, 4 commando brigades, surface-to-air missile brigade, 3 artillery brigades, 30 field battalions, and an air defense battalion. These divisions are based in all regions of the country

Regular soldiers of Somaliland mostly use G3 rifles, SKS carbines and various versions of the AK-47 which is the popular weapon of choice.

The Somaliland army operates an unknown number of the following equipment:

• BM-21 mobile rocket launchers.

• BGM-71 TOW anti-tank guided missiles.

• BTR-50 tracked armored personnel carriers.

• T-34 medium tanks.

• T-55 main battle tanks.

Because of the UN arms embargo on Somalia, Somaliland is unable to purchase arms and therefore rely on repairing/modifying old equipment. Some arms are believed to have been delivered from Ethiopia and Yemen.

Navy

The Somaliland navy was formed in 2009. The headquarter is located in the coastal town of Berbera where its also a diving center run by foreign divers who train the Somaliland navy. The Navy operates with small speedboats mounted with guns, pick-ups and trucks. Naval operations are currently undertaken by the coast guard that is the jurisdiction of the interior ministry.

Military age 18 – 49 years.

Available for military service 1,000,000 (2011), age 16-45 (2011 est.)

Fit for military service 1,200,000 (2011), age 16-45 (2011 EST.)

Active personnel 28,000

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