A U.S. training program to rebuild the Somali army has had mixed results at best. The $6.8 million program trained 1,000 Somalis in Djibouti and 1,100 in Uganda. The program envisions training 10,000 soldiers for the Somali army. Private donors and the European Union are also involved in the training.
The soldiers were supposed to be paid $100 a month. Unfortunately, that has not happened.
It estimated that half of the soldiers in Djibouti deserted because of a lack of pay. Some left the newly rebuilt Somali army and returned to civilian life. Others, impressed with their new American-trained military skills, packed up to join the rebels, mainly Islamic fundamentalist groups.
The military base that the Somalis are encamped lacks basic necessities, even toilets. Soldiers complained that upper-level officers were confiscating their pay, leaving them without money for months.
Some had guns confiscated earlier in the month after a riot broke out between those who were paid and those who were not. Their guns were replaced with sticks.
“There is not enough money to pay everyone. But we are happy there is some money,” said a Colonel.
$7 million to build a military armed with sticks, while others defect to fight for Islamic fundamentalism — what a deal.