The Ministry of Defence (Somali: Wasaaradda Gaashaandhigga) is charged with co-ordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the Somali Armed Forces. The President of Somalia is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the country. The Ministry of Defence provides policy framework and resources to the Armed Forces to discharge their responsibility in the context of the defence of the country. The Armed Forces (including Somali Army, Somali Air Force, and Somali Navy) under the Defence Ministry are primarily responsible for ensuring the territorial integrity of the nation. The current Minister of Defence of Somalia is Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed.[1]


Historically, Somali society conferred distinction upon warriors (waranle) and rewarded military acumen. All Somali males were regarded as potential soldiers, except for the odd religious cleric (wadaado).[2] Somalia's many Sultanates each maintained regular troops. In the early Middle Ages, the conquest of Shewa by the Ifat Sultanate ignited a rivalry for supremacy with the Solomonic dynasty.

in 1914, the Somaliland Camel Corps was formed in the British Somaliland protectorate and saw service before, during, and after the Italian invasion of the territory during World War II[2]

After independence, the Darawishta merged with the former British Somaliland Scouts to form the 5,000 strong Somali National Army.[3] The new military's first commander was Colonel Daud Abdulle Hirsi, a former officer in the British military administration's police force, the Somalia Gendarmerie.[2] Officers were trained in the United Kingdom, Egypt and Italy. Despite the social and economic benefits associated with military service, the armed forces began to suffer chronic manpower shortages only a few years after independence.[4]

The Somali Armed Forces were initially made up of the army, navy, air force, and air defence command. In the post-independence period, the national armed forces grew to become among the larger militaries on the continent.The SAF is now overseen by the federal Ministry of Defence.


  • Minister of Defence
    • Deputy Minister
      • Secretary-General
        • Under the Authority of Secretary-General
          • Internal Audit and Investigation Division
          • Somali Armed Forces Council Secretariat
          • Key Performance Indicator Unit
          • Legal Division
          • Strategic Communications Unit
          • Integrity Unit
        • Deputy Secretary-General (Development)
          • Development Division
          • Procurement Division
          • Somali Armed Forces Catalouging Authority
        • Deputy Secretary-General (Policy)
          • Policy and Strategic Planning Division
          • Defence Industry Division
          • Defence Reserve Depot
        • Deputy Secretary-General (Management)
          • Human Resource Management Division
          • Information Management Division
          • Finance Division
          • Account Division
          • Administration Division
        • Chief of Defence Forces
          • Chief of Army
          • Chief of Navy
          • Chief of Air Force
          • Joint Force Commander
          • Director of General Defence Intelligence
          • Chief of Staff Somali Armed Forces Headquarters

Defence Ministers

Succession Tenure Affiliation & Notes
Federal Republic of Somalia
Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed 21 March 2017 – Present Federal Government of Somalia (FGS)
Abdulkadir Sheikh Dini 27 January 2015 – 21 March 2017 Federal Government of Somalia (FGS)
Mohamed Sheikh Hassan 17 January 2014 – 27 January 2015 Federal Government of Somalia (FGS)
Abdihakim Mohamoud Haji-Faqi 4 November 2012 – 17 January 2014 Federal Government of Somalia (FGS)
Transitional Federal Government
Hussein Arab Isse 20 July 2011 – 4 November 2012 Transitional Federal Government (TFG)
Abdihakim Mohamoud Haji-Faqi 12 November 2010 – 20 July 2011 Transitional Federal Government (TFG)
Mohamed Abdi Mohamed 21 February 2009 – 12 November 2010 Transitional Federal Government (TFG)
Muhayadin Mohamed[5] 2008 – 2008 Transitional Federal Government (TFG)
Somali Democratic Republic
Hussein Sheikh Abdirahman 1989 – 1990 Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP)
First civilian Defence Minister under Barre[6]
Aden Abdullahi Nur 1986 – 1988 Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP)
Muhammad Ali Samatar 1980 – 1986 Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP)


  1. ^ "PM Khaire announces 27 member cabinet". Hiiraan Online. March 21, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Library of Congress Country Study, Somalia, The Warrior Tradition and Development of a Modern Army, research complete May 1992.
  3. ^ A transcript of a Reuters report of June 26, 1960 says that, during the independence ceremony for Somaliland “..Nearly 1,000 British-trained Somaliland Scouts were then handed over to the Prime Minister by Brigadier O. G. Brooks, the Colonel Commandant.” http://www.slnnews.com/2015/06/somaliland-independence-26th-june-1960-the-world-press/
  4. ^ Library of Congress Country Study, Somalia, Manpower, Training, and Conditions of Service (Thomas Ofcansky), research complete May 1992.
  5. ^ "Islamists kill Somalia's former defence minister with car bomb". Reuters. 2016-02-15. Retrieved 2016-03-13. 
  6. ^ "Former Somali defense minister dies in US". Hiiraan Online. 2016-05-17. Retrieved 2016-06-10. 

External sources