MNDF dismisses three senior officers in ongoing firing spree

The Maldives National Defense Forces (MNDF) dismissed Brigadier General Abdulla Shamaal, Captain Abdul Muizz Musthafa and Sergeant Major Naushad Ali on Saturday.

The dismissals are the latest in a firing spree following the inauguration of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. Last week, the MNDF dismissed six soldiers including former head of military intelligence Brigadier General Ahmed Nilam.

According to an MNDF statement, Shamaal had prepared a letter and collected signatures from senior and rank and file soldiers “in the guise” of supporting the Chief of Defense Forces Major General Ahmed Shiyam.

However, he proceeded to leak the letter on social media “in order to reveal dissent within the military,” the statement said. The MNDF further accuses Shamaal of sowing discord within the military by speaking to rank and file soldiers.

A leaked copy of the letter expresses concern over the presidential poll delay and the repercussions should a president elect not be determined by the end of the presidential term on November 11.

Musthafa is accused of being an accomplice to Shamaal and of “intent and plans to commit dangerous acts using the troops under his captainship.”

Naushad Ali is accused of keeping his and other soldiers signing the letter a secret from his superiors.

Following the letter, the MNDF amended its regulations to punish officers who promoted “upheaval and chaos,” and several officers were suspended and Shamaal was removed from his position as the Commandant of Training and Doctrine.

In mid November as the possibility of holding presidential polls by the end of the presidential term dimmed following police obstruction and Supreme Court orders to delay elections, 73 mid ranking officers circulated an appeal calling on fellow soldiers not to obey any “unlawful” orders issued by President Dr Mohamed Waheed or his political appointees.

The nine soldiers dismissed this week are all accused of sowing discord in the military.

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) condemned the dismissals as “politically motivated and unjust,” and noted that no action had been taken against the soldiers who mutinied on 7 February 2012.

“On 7 February 2012, some uniformed soldiers publicly called for the resignation of the President and Commander in Chief and protested along with the opposition at the time. They have publicly violated global norms of military discipline. The CONI report has highlighted this act and called for action against them.”

Instead of penalising mutinying soldiers, the Ministry of Defense awarded them promotions, the MDP said.

“Such actions politicize the military, undermine professionalism and demean the institution,” the MDP added.

The party also praised Brigadier Generals Shamaal and Nilam as “highly educated, experienced and professional soldiers who have maintained high standards and served for a long time in the military with sincerity.”

In response, the Ministry of Defense said it routinely takes disciplinary action against any soldier who violates the law.

“However, some political actors via some TV channels are criticising such [disciplinary] actions and are saying such actions cannot be taken against those who violate the Defense Forces Act and subsidiary regulations,” the statement said.

“Any responsible media, political party or citizen must not commit such acts for political gain. [We] strongly condemn such unlawful and politically motivated acts. [We] appeal on all parties to stop adverse unlawful acts and announce that [we] will ask the relevant authorities to take action against those who repeat such acts,” it added.

Re-appointed Minister of Defense Mohamed Nazim was a key figure in ouster of former president Mohamed Nasheed. Video footage shows Nazim telling a group of police, military and opposition activists that he had told President Nasheed to “resign without any conditions.”

Meanwhile, former Brigadier General Ahmed Nilam has told local media that his dismissal was “irresponsible and prejudiced” and said he will appeal the case through the courts.

The opportunity to establish democracy as per the 2008 constitution was “fraying and unraveling,” Nilam said.

In additional developments, Colonel Abdul Raheem was dismissed as MNDF Spokesperson and Major Hussein Ali was appointed to the position last week. The MNDF has also promoted Colonel Ali Zuhair to the rank of Brigadier General.

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6 thoughts on “MNDF dismisses three senior officers in ongoing firing spree”

  1. Mr Nazim must be thinking that the clock has been set back to 1978. It's the responsibility of political actors to criticise the regime and that's the whole point of the democratic system of governance.

    Any law that contravenes is not a law and the Maldivian Constitution clearly states that fact. Nazim must find a better way to shut up criticism.

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  2. Nazim is and always has been envious of the achievements of officers like Shamal. No matter what he says about Shamal, those who have worked with him and know him well will not believe a word of the accusations against Shamal. What Shamal and all the other officers in MNDF who had the guts to stand up to protect the Constitution did was commendable. Nazim and his puppets can never measure up to the calibre of officers like Shamal, Nilaam and the rest who had the courage to fight for their country.

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  3. The difference between Nazim and officers like Shamal and Nilam is like oil and water. Nazim is a cunning person who gets to the top posts by scheming and through various dodgy dealings and not by his abilities or integrity.

    It's sad to see MNDF being reduced to such low standards by removing high quality officers. This is what typically happens in corrupt to the core regimes which then gravitate towards an all powerful military with its hands in the treasury, politics, law and order. We once had such an organization known formerly as NSS. Some people may remember those dark brutal days.

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  4. never again in our lives, we will ever trust mndf or police. once sold, always on sale.. worst part is, we civilans feed these greedy mouths... at the moment, i very much hate the whole concept of mndf n police;; the best name they can ever have/..."BAAGHEES"

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  5. yeah yeah..u all commend pple like shamal..with "good job" "ya brave man" "hero" blah blah.. question is, what good does it have on him?do u realy think shamal will be reading this with 32 of his teeth on the table?? do you know how he would feel after losing the job of his life? do u think ur petty condolences would feed him a day? rubbish mordivians. losing jobs because of political rivalry is a danger to all of the pple. who knows if i will have my job by tomorrow morning? where is human rights? labor laws and such acts does not protect the pple.. untill the day such laws are made to control such acts, we all live in fear of having to loose our jobs.at this moment, we realy dont know what mordis wud do.. or happen... maybe the next 5 years are for mullahs? we all will taste blood in our throats because of the vote we cast. and i will be watching and enjoying the looks on ur faces when it happens... beyas, nubeyas.

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