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15 July, 2024
 
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Letter from retired Deputy Chief exposes serious issues in Cyprus National Guard

A farewell letter from retired deputy chief Lieutenant General Loukas Hadjimichael reveals deep-rooted problems and leadership tensions within the Cyprus National Guard

Newsroom

The recently retired deputy chief of the Cyprus National Guard, Lieutenant General Loukas Hadjimichael, has raised serious concerns about the state of the military force in a farewell letter, according to a report by Apostolos Tomaras in Kathimerini's Sunday edition.

The letter, written by Lt. Gen. Hadjimichael, revealed deep-rooted issues within the National Guard, referring to internal figures as "lords" and using other derogatory terms. This indicates a toxic environment that has permeated the higher echelons of the military's leadership. His comments suggest that such issues have been ignored for years, including during Lt. Gen. Stylianos Nasis's tenure as Force Commander from 2011 to 2014.

Lt. Gen. Hadjimichael's letter indirectly criticizes the current chief, Lieutenant General George Tsitsikostas, for his handling of the situation since his appointment in September 2023. The deputy chief suggests that his recent outburst was triggered by restrictions placed on him by the chief, which he attributes to his protests about ongoing issues within the force.

The Ministry of Defence, led by Minister Vassilis Palma, has responded by seeking legal advice from the Attorney General on how to handle the situation, emphasizing that such behavior cannot be tolerated. This step highlights the political nature of high-ranking military appointments, which are made by the Cabinet.

Military sources have described the relationship between the chief and deputy chief as dysfunctional, leading to a tense atmosphere within the General Staff and the National Guard. These tensions have reportedly escalated into serious verbal altercations, impacting the overall morale and unity of the force.

In his letter, Lt. Gen. Hadjimichael also breached security protocols by detailing sensitive information about military units, including their locations and staffing levels. This action is considered a significant violation that could warrant investigation by military justice.

The letter attempts to draw a distinction between different factions within the National Guard, potentially undermining the cohesion and effectiveness of the force. Military sources interpret these actions as creating divisions, which could further harm the morale and unity of National Guard personnel.

[This is a summary of an article written by Apostolos Tomaras.  You can read the entire article in Kathimerini's Sunday edition. Subscribe now]

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Cyprus  |  politics  |  defense

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