Military committees of the Ministry of Defense are continuing to count the assets of the Yemeni army, according to an officer from the ministry who requested anonymity.
The officer explained that the same committees are also tasked with counting the human resources of all military divisions.
The Yemeni army. which currently is not operating according to professional standards of management, is expected to be restructured in line with the GCC Initiative to operate independently of personal or partisan loyalties.
The officer said that the ministry regularly holds meetings to investigate the many impediments that have faced the committees tasked with counting assets, and find ways around these obstructions.
Another officer at the ministry said that former president Saleh has rejected Hadi’s instructions to the ministry to count all military weapons.
“Saleh declined to calculate all the assets of the army. He suggested counting only undistributed weapons and vehicles,” said the officer who asked that his name not be published.
The Minister of Defense, Mohammad Nasser Ahmed, said on March 7 that President Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi asked the ministry to form military and technical committees to count the assets of the Yemeni military.
He affirmed that during a meeting with the Chief of Staff, Ahmed Ali Al-Ashwal, directors of the Defense Ministry’s departments and other military commanders, that Ahmed had instructed the committees to begin their job so as to prevent the leakage of weapons to armed groups or militias.
Ahmed stressed the importance of building up the institutions that will guarantee the unification of military forces as stipulated by the GCC-brokered power transfer deal signed on Nov. 23.
The state-run Saba News Agency quoted Al-Ashwal as saying that all departments of the Ministry of Defense must have inclusive reforms. He stressed the importance of military reorganization so that Yemen could have a standard modern army.
The audit of army assets is a significant step in the reorganization of the military. The military has experienced deep divisions since Commander of the First Armored Division, General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, defected and declared his support for the peaceful youth revolution on March 21, 2011.
Aysh Awas, a security and political researcher at Sheba Strategic Studies Center, said in an interview with the Yemen Times that the commanders of some military units inflate the number of troops under their command to skim off the extra salaries into their private accounts.
Troops in Yemen’s army receive their salaries in cash directly from their commanders, which has exacerbated corruption at the Ministry of Defense.
Abd Al-Razaq Al-Hajri, an opposition member of parliament, this week during question time demanded from the defense minister that salaries in the army be paid through a bank to reduce the possibility of corruption.