Reliable sources confirm that intelligence officers who had demonstrated against missing salaries in Mogadishu, Wednesday, had all been put behind bars.
The soldiers who were 50 strong blocked a length of Mogadishu’s main avenue. But the stretch of the road they chose, which was in between the Unknown Soldier monument and Juba Hotel, commanded access to the Police Command, the Parliament, Villa Somalia and the Ministry of Information – among other main institutions.
Negotiators from the Intelligence department (NISA) to which they belonged first convinced them to lay down arms, promising them the immediate payment of the three-month salaries they missed. Once they complied, they were rounded up and packed in prison.
The mutinying unit was part of a hundred officers assigned to ensure the security of Mogadishu’s Daynile airstrip which, apparently, Somalia intelligence mainly used.
The remaining 50 left their posts when the news of what happened to their colleagues reached them, melting back into their areas, the reports add.
Somali federal leaders have often been accused of diverting security-related funds to political funds and self-serving campaigns. This situation led to a number of similar demonstrations staged across federal Somalia by the army and other security personnel whose salaries got gobbled up in the process.
The international community, led by the UN, the AU and the United States generously support Somalia security on the pretext that the country would conclusively the Shabab threat to an end. The IC also hoped that once Somalia strategized and began implementing the ‘hows’ and ‘whens’ of the issue, the international community would safely make a dignified, face-saving exit out of Somalia.
It is incidents such as that of the Wednesday mutiny which brings out how deep the rot of corruption and misappropriation of security funds has eaten into a weak, teetering governance that characterizes present-day Somalia.