Somalia presidential guards chief shot wounded over payment rift
protecting Somalia’s presidential palace has been shot and injured by a fellow soldier on Tuesday following a dispute over unpaid salaries, Radio Dalsan reports.
Colonel Abdifatah Dabagaale was shot and injured by a presidential security guards officer after complaining over payment rift and alleging his commander the failure of making sure payments are received. This has eventually prompted a war of words to erupt between the two officers.
“The officer who was on duty and subsequently armed immediately fired one bullet at his commander. The commander is wounded though he is in stable condition,” the Villa Somalia security source told Radio Dalsan.
The perpetrator was not arrested as he fled the palace after the incident.
The incident came amid tensions in the capital after members of the Somali National Army (SNA) vacated key positions in Middle and Lower Shabelle, two regions on the vicinity of Mogadishu.
The forces protested over unpaid salaries of 2 months with some even claiming to have not received any payments for 3 months.
Some of the positions left by the SNA soldiers were quickly filled by al-Shabaab militants, sparking fears on civilians and hindering security gains made the years before.
Members of the Presidential Guards Unit known as ‘Kofi Gudud’ [the red berets] were also affected by the delayed payment of arrears due to the force.
On the weekend, Somali president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo admitted that members of the army were not paid for months, but justified that the setback was resulted by ongoing biometric registration and verification process of the armed forces.
“I hope the unpaid soldiers will be able to receive their dues soon,” the president told officers of the army during a meeting at the Ministry of Defense headquarters in Mogadishu Tuesday.