Somalia: Puntland Soldiers complain of lack of salaries, poor welfare
GAROWE, Puntland- Security forces were reported complaining about poor welfare and lack of government entitlements amid security deterioration of Somalia’s northeastern region in the past weeks, Garowe Online reports.
According to a security official, the soldiers didn’t receive salaries for months, and lacked adequate support from the government to repair pick-up trucks and provide military equipment for the troops.
The government also failed to provide medical assistance to soldiers injured in the fighting against Al Shabaab group in March 2016, which prompted families to assume the burden of paying hefty medical bills, added the official.
On the other hands, sources tell GO that rouge soldiers have staged mutiny in Galkayo city last week, and seized control of the Central Bank branch in the city demanding their unpaid salaries, however, the situation was resolved after intervention from government officials who broke a deal to pay one month salary to the rouge soldiers.
Recently, state security forces have defeated ISIS affiliated faction in Puntland and recaptured port town Qandala on December, which fell under the control of ISIS back in October.
The government didn’t give salaries on a monthly basis to the troops, and this is weakening their morale in the fight against insurgency in the region, said the official.
These come amid extreme drought conditions, recurrent fighting in Galkayo and frequent foreign trips of Puntland President that caused additional burden on the state budget that is already facing a financial crunch. Recent reports have indicated that the President has stayed close to 6 months outside Puntland region during his past trips last year.