Garowe (PP News Desk) — Police officer trainees from Puntland Security Forces have defected. The rookies were in a unit that had completed a training at Xorgoble barracks in Qardho. Defected police recruits reportedly made off with their assault rifles to Sanaag.  They were members of a unit to be based at Af Urur base.

Commander of Puntland Dervish Forces Brigadier General Yasin Omar Dhere ordered the arrest of police officer trainees  who defected with their guns. This incident is seen by many observers as a blow to efforts by the Puntland State Government to professionalise its forces and weed out phantom soldiers in the payroll.

Puntland Security Forces recruits in training at Xorgoble barracks in Qardho

Al-shabaab attacked Af Urur several years ago and killed more than 20 Puntland soldiers before ransacking the base.

There is little that Puntland State Government will be able to do about defectors if they join Somaliland forces in Eastern Sanaag or sell their guns. Defections indicate that the problem of selecting recruits on the basis of clan quotas still undercuts modernisation of Puntland Security Forces.

President Said Abdullahi Deni of Puntland State has described the security reform in Puntland as a “self-funded” initiative.

© Puntland Post,  2020