'US freeze support to Somalia army'

World December 14, 2017 14:39

nairobi - The United States suspend part of its support to the Somali army because of concerns about corruption. The Somalis were repeatedly unable to indicate where American relief goods had remained, according to documentation that has been reviewed by Reuters.

The decision comes at a sensitive time. Troops of the African Union (AU) have been fighting in the poverty-stricken country for ten years against the extremists of al-Shabaab, but this mission will be phased out over the coming years. The first thousand AU troops will leave before the end of 2017.

The Somalian forces seem, however, hardly able to stand on their own feet. A team of Somalis and Americans visited nine army bases earlier this year. Then it appeared that some units seem to exist mainly on paper. The US-controlled food was also largely without trace.

Such practices are a thorn in the eyes of the Americans. For the time being they will no longer send fuel and food to a large part of the army. A source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently confirmed that aid is being 'adjusted' to ensure that goods are 'used for what they are meant for'.

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