Mercenaries in the Maldives Security Forces

6a00d8341c60bf53ef016761e9b3c9970bViolence between two gangs in capital Male Friday evening led to the arrest of more than a dozen people and a security operation involving the armed forces and again police were accused of torture. This has added more weight into the scale of “trademark tag” of corrupt or “coup elements” existing in our security forces. This is a serious allegation traumatizing the capital city this week. Lets get back to the past.

Tuesday, of February the year 2012, dawned as crisp, sunny and beautiful as any other day in the Maldives. But it was a day of utter chaos in this unique paradise on earth. For some people it was a another coup in the history of the Maldives. For others it was a day against illegal orders from a commander in chief.

The police and MNDF units keeping law and order at Artificial Beach area on the 6th of February, while the “23rd December Alliance” and activists of the Maldivian Democratic Party were conducting mass protests, were ordered to be dismissed from the area. According to some people it was an illegal order, in contravention to Article 238 of the Constitution of the Maldives. But others alleged that no one commanded illegal orders and it was a well planned coup orchestrated by scholars, businessmen, politicians and media.

Even if the commander in chief gave illegal orders, the security forces should not carry out illegal acts. I witnessed some incidents that day. Police and army ransacked the headquarters of the Maldivian National Defense force and the Headquarters of Police. Police and some “defected” soldiers also confronted the army.

Some members of the security forces carried out acts against the constitution and the laws that they have to obey. Even CONI (Commission of National Inquiry) report recommended that measures have to be taken against those who violated the constitution.

In 1980 and 1983 coup d’état attempts against Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s presidency were not considered serious, the third coup d’état attempt in November 1988 even alarmed the international community.

About 80 armed PLOTE mercenaries landed in the capital Malé before dawn aboard speedboats from a freighter. Disguised as visitors, a similar number had already infiltrated Malé earlier. The mercenaries quickly gained control of the capital, including the major government buildings, airport, port and television and radio stations.

However, they failed to capture President Gayoom, who fled from house to house and asked for military intervention from India, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi immediately dispatched 1,600 troops by air to restore order in Malé. The people behind this plot were ex-servicemen and native Maldivians.

The targeted attack on President Yameen recalls the fear and wickedness of the security forces and the past coups and attempts against legitimate governments. The attack against President Yameen was well planned. And there are enough suspicions about the involvement of the security forces before and after the incident.

It is undeniable that there are rogue elements in the security forces. This is very serious problem we are facing today. Security forces are the backbone of the country. We can sometimes observe security personnel’s shouting at people and behaving like gangsters when they travel around the island on vehicles.

You can feel this as – not a serious matter. But this symbolizes the dignity and reputation of our security forces. This is the level of some members of our security forces. So just imagine what will happen if powerful tycoons approach them with millions of dollars to orchestrate a wicked plan. Those who break the law should be brought to justice. No one should be above the law.

Our security forces are trained by world’s mightiest military powers. But we are ashamed of the level of corruption that has completely paralyzed the nation and plunged us into the level of Bogota of Colombia or Sau Polo of Brazil. Maldives is now one of the most insecure countries in the World. And it is easy to predict about coup attempts in the future as our history has shown beyond doubt that this is one of  the most volatile nations on the planet. Security forces have played a major role in the political arena of this nation. These rogue elements are a threat for peace and security of the nation. It is also a serious threat to legitimate governments too.


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