Nigerian troops in Somalia not paid for 11 months
Nov 29, 2016
Eleven months after they were deployed on peace enforcement duties in Somalia as Formed Police Unit (FPU) to assist the Somali police maintain law and order and provide cover for the country’s first democratic elections holding tomorrow, Nigerian troops have not been paid .
According to The Nation’s Assistant Editor Seun Akioye, who was with the troops in Somalia,some of the Nigerian officers who spoke to The Nation in confidence said the security situation in Mogadishu is dire and that the troops risk their lives going out on patrols daily.
“That is what we do every day. We only go out in our armoured vehicles called Mambas. We wear bullet proof vests all day. This is the most difficult battle in the world today,” an officer, who pleaded for anonymity, said.
The threat to the Nigerian troops is not only from Al-Shabaab. The contingent suffers from non-payment of allowances and emoluments. Since the team arrived in Somalia on January 6, no allowance has been paid to any of its members.
The situation has dampened the morale of the hard- fighting troops. Commander Eze is having it tough inspiring and reassuring his men.
“Since we came here we have not been paid. The situation has not been palatable. Sometimes, the thought of it would dampen the officers morale, no one is sure when the money will be paid so it is not funny at all,” Esther Markus, an ASP said.
Five other African countries, Burundi, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti also contribute military troops to the mission.