UN warns on graft consequence
By Katrina Manson in Nairobi
July 17, 2012
Pervasive corruption and infighting in Somalia’s donor-backed government could revive an embattled Islamist terrorist movement, warns a leaked UN report.
In the past year, western-backed regional powers have beaten back al-Shabaab, a militant group that merged with al-Qaeda this year, reducing its ability to train foreign fighters, plan attacks and fund itself through illicit trade and taxes. But these gains may be eroded by a weak, venal government, the report warns.
The corrupt political elite at Somalia’s helm could “fuel continued instability and conflict, potentially reviving the fortunes of an embattled al-Shabaab”, according to the report by the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, which is researched by experts who recommend individuals for sanctions to the UN Security Council.
The report, a copy of which has been obtained by the Financial Times, says more than 70 per cent of all government income goes missing. In one example, it cited the disappearance of $1.5m in passport fees in the 18 months to the end of 2011, equivalent to 60 per cent of fees taken. Authorities even gave a diplomatic passport to a top pirate, it says.
Read the complete story at Financial Times
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