“Corruption” exists in the Somali government, the president admitted for the first time this weekend.
According to Garowe Online, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo told Somalia’s Parliament in Mogadishu:
It’s undeniable that there is corruption in the government committed by some of us. It’s obvious that there is a lack of trust.
Farmajo did not mention which department in the government was committing the corruption, although did claim that public funds were being mishandled. Ministers working in parliament have failed to honour their responsibility, the attendees at the third session of parliament heard over the weekend. Somalia has had a strict zero tolerance policy towards corruption in a bid to foster an efficient civil service.
“President Abdullahi Mohamed took office after running a broad anti-corruption electoral campaign. The journey to win that fight is steep, and acknowledging the problem is a good step. The president would do well to pursue stronger mechanisms for transparency and accountability in all government transactions,” Paul Banoba, regional advisor for East Africa at Transparency International, told MEMO.
Somalia was ranked one of the lowest countries in corruption, according to Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2017 report published late last month. The country suffers from weak public institutions and instability which directly impact basic governance. Transparency International called on the African Union to obtain a clear commitment to tackle corruption from all its member states.
Somalia remains in a state of unrest as Al-Shabaab, an armed group that pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda in 2012, continues to attack in densely populated areas, including the capital. Last year, some 500 people were killed in a double truck bomb attack in Mogadishu.
Despite this, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is rescinding its footprint. The force has already withdrawn some 1,000 troops from Somalia. The aim is to transfer security responsibility to Somalia’s government, but it seems unlikely that this will be successful.
African Union Countries have raised concern that a complete withdrawal would lead to a reversal of the military gains, All Africa reported.