Sunday, December 17, 2017

U.S. suspends aid to Somalia's military over graft

The United States is suspending food and fuel aid for most of Somalia’s armed forces over corruption concerns, a blow to the military as African peacekeepers start to withdraw this month. African Union (AU) troops landed in Mogadishu a decade ago to fight al Shabaab Islamist militants and Somali forces are supposed to eventually take over their duties.

But the United States, which also funds the 22,000-strong peacekeeping force, has grown frustrated that successive governments have failed to build a viable national army. U.S. officials are increasingly frustrated that the military is unable to account for its aid. The documents paint a stark picture of a military hollowed out by corruption, unable to feed, pay or arm its soldiers - despite hundreds of millions of dollars of support.
Between May and June, a team of U.S. and Somali officials visited nine army bases to assess whether the men were receiving food the United States provides for 5,000 soldiers. “We did not find the expected large quantities of food at any location".