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.
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). 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.
After independence, the Darawishta merged with the former British Somaliland Scouts to form the 5,000 strong Somali National Army. 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. 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.
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.
|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||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
|Aden Abdullahi Nur||1986 – 1988||Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP)|
|Muhammad Ali Samatar||1980 – 1986||Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP)|