By M A Egge
The President of the Republic who is also the Commander-in-Chief H.E. Musa Bihi Abdi of the National Armed Forces yesterday paid a glowing tribute to the department of defense for their diligence, accountability and management in his speech the Armed Forces Headquarters.
The Head of State, who gave a fantastic round-up of over a whole century’s history of the multiple transitions of the path taken by the forces, was the guest of honour at the 24th Commemoration Day of the modern Somaliland National Armed Forces.
H.E. Musa Bihi at the same time paid tribute to the leaders of both official opposition parties Messrs Abdirahamn Abdillahi Irro of Wadani and Feisal Ali Waraabe of UCID terming the vibrant democratic culture taking root in the country as a hallmark of developmental progress.
He noted that the government would prioritize the welfare and the advancement of the institution of the forces at his behest hence pointed out that it was the best managed institution in the country.
“It should be noted that both Abdirahman Irro and Feisal Ali are heroes who want the all the best for their country”, said the President.
He cautioned way-warders not to be wary or jittery so as to fear polarization politics when diverse opinions are expressed.
“We bask in the glory of having the opposition, the private media and both houses of parliament trying to put the government upright by way of check and balances”, said the President while adding that it was a healthy democratic scenario that nurtures development hence blended with the cherishing of a judicial system that can put the President in the dock.
The Head of State taught the audience the history of the armed forces starting from the Kenya African Rifles in the early 19th Century to the custodial corps at the end of the second world war to the Somali scouts.
He noted justifiably, “By the 1960 independence time the modern Somaliland forces had over two decades of experience”.
The President noted that the doomed Somali Union was overly caused by the injection of a handful of inferior policemen from the south (13 individuals) who were made generals “with Abdillahi Congo made a second left tenant (two pipped) being the highest officer from Somaliland hence bringing a crisis (Somaliland-Somalia) which is still there up to today”.
The President happens to be the most notable Somaliland leader to expound on the history of the country’s forces in such depth at such a podium to date.
The President had earlier on cut the ribbon in a function inaugurating Guest Hostels at the military compounds hence visited several departments in the barracks such as the military hospitals, academies and the officer’s mess.
The Defence Minister Hon. Isse Ahmed Yusuf praised the forces for their steadfastness on their auspicious occasion.
The commander of the Armed forces major General Ismael Nouh Tani gave a recap of the forces history for the past 24 years.
He noted that they have since established three major recruitment schools and two academies for officers and commanders.
He said that of 200 students they sent abroad 189 were already back and the remaining 11 were pursuing masters courses; in the meantime, he says, some 125 were sent for health associated courses.
General Tani revealed that ample military supplies and kits were received a weak ago.
The occasion was graced by immediate past President Ahmed Silanyo, past vice Presidents Hassan Issa Jama, Abdirahman Aw Ali Farah and Ahmed Yusuf Yasin, both leaders of the official opposition parties and several eminent personalities, all service commanders etc.
This is the first time that past leaders wholly attended such a function, an act that the President described as one of expression of unity and stability.