Row Over Registration of Galka’yo Security Forces Persists

Galka’yo (PP News Desk) — Puntland Minister for Finance Hassan Shire Abgal, who is in Galka’yo, is reportedly facing resistance to the organisational changes Puntland State Government introduced several months to base salaries for soldiers on biometric registration.

Puntland Finance Minister Hassan Shire is meeting Galka’yo notables to break the deadlock over security reform initiative in the Puntland-controlled part of the divided city.

An attempt to count soldiers based at Aano-ka-dhan barracks West of Galka’yo has hit a snag. Hassan is meeting north Galka’yo notables to persuade solders, and commanders who insist to payment of salaries on the basis of names in the pre-biotmetric payroll. Puntland State has the highest number of phantom soldiers in Somalia.

The security reform introduced by the administration of Said Abdullahi Deni began almost two years after a biometric-based security reform eliminated phantom soldiers and saved the Federal Government of Somalia roughly $20 million that went to the pockets of unscrupulous commanders every month.

Puntland Finance Minister (second from right) with senior Puntland security forces officers in Galka’yo.

Sources close to the Puntland Security Reform Committee told Puntland Post that Puntland Government pledged to recruit more soldiers on par with the pre-biometric payroll levels in Mudug if soldiers sign up to the biometric registration system.

“But this a Gentleman’s Agreement that soldiers in favour the old payroll system would like to be changed into a formal agreement” said the source.

The biometric payroll system will substantially reduce salaries paid to phantom soldiers without addressing the clan-based recruitment of Puntland security forces.

© Puntland Post, 2020