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Somali government dismisses reports of hungry soldiers

Hiiraan Online
Tuesday March 19, 2019

Mogadishu (HOL) - The Somali government has dispelled media reports that it failed to pay the salaries of its armed forces for the past several months.

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Speaking at an event in Mogadishu on Monday night, Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheire retorted that the government succeeded in paying the salaries of armed forces.

The PM confirmed the existence of soldiers who were not registered in the payroll of the Ministry of Defense.

He affirmed that the government is working to register all Somali National Army soldiers and ensure the rights of the army are respected.

“There is no soldier on the payroll of the government who has not been paid. If they were were not paid it is because they have not been registered,” he said.

The PM noted that salaries are paid directly into the bank accounts of the individual soldiers, saying the system makes the delivery of the salaries more transparent and more accountable.

“The Federal Government of Somalia has committed to building effective and transparent administrative systems within the security forces. We want the salaries to reach the respective soldiers, those high-rank officials are required to secure the shillings entrusted with them and give the money to those meant for it,” he stated.

In late 2017, The Somali ministry for Finance launched biometric registration for all soldiers to assist in directing salary payment to personal bank accounts.

The initiative was meant to support progress made on the security sector reform agenda while combatting corruption and 'ghost soldiers'.

According to Finance Minister, Abdirahman Duale Beileh, the system reduces loopholes for misappropriation and enables the funds to be efficiently used and accounted for.

In the past, Somali soldiers have gone months without receiving a single payment. Critics have warned that the inability to pay soldiers threatens to undermine the battle against the militant insurgency group Al-Shabaab.



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