MNDF asserts full authority over all territories of the Maldives

The Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) has made a strong statement affirming its authority over all territories within the country.

The MNDF's statement comes amid repeated claims by the opposition regarding the alleged presence of Indian military personnel in the Maldives and assertions that their actions threaten Maldivian independence. The remarks by the MNDF also coincide with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's commitment to revealing the truth about allegations made against him by the opposition following his defeat in the first round of the presidential election.

In a special interview given to the state media, Chief of Defense Force Lt. Gen. Abdullah Shamaal Monday addressed the purported presence of foreign troops in the Maldives, particularly Indian troops.

Shamaal clarified that India has provided the Maldives with two helicopters, including a Donier helicopter, as well as coast guard vessels since 2011 at the request of the Maldivian government. These assets operate under the authorization and oversight of the Maldives army, primarily for transporting patients and conducting sea area surveillance, he said.

Shamaal asserted that MNDF's military power extends to every military base in the Maldives and assured that there are no foreign military bases in the Maldives.

“There is no place, no military base, where the Maldives army does not have authority,” he said.

Regarding Uthuru Thila Falhu, Shamaal said it was also under the control of MNDF. He affirmed that the army would not do anything to undermine the Maldives' independence. Shamaal added that the MNDF routinely conducts training programs with the armies of various countries, including India and the United States.