The army has been on the streets of Male’ since the 75th anniversary of the Maldives Police Service which was inaugrated by a split of the then National Security Service about three and a half years ago. The military patrols of the streets of the capital have been introduced to reinforce the police according to government sources. Yet, there is no end in sight for the violence which has deep roots to disputes among various groups of Male’.
The country has seen the murder of two young people in the span of a few months, which have been linked to the street violence. Several more were hospitalized in critical condition. The government seems to be in a coma when it comes to tackling the issue.
Recently the Youth Minister has criticized the government agencies responsible for law and order, deviating from the official government line which call upon the public to restore law and order. He has also taken an initiative to engage with the grassroots of society. Yet, the effectiveness of such an engagement to bring the parties to a common platform to find a solution to the raging disputes is yet to be seen.
There are many who believe that the only end in sight is a strategy that is controlled and directed by the military. Yet, the military is taking a passive stand insisting that their streets patrols are in line with their duty to “obey orders”.