Somali faces grave problems - UN

2014-10-13 13:59
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Nairobi - War-torn Somalia's government remained riddled with corruption while al-Shabaab islamists were as deadly as ever, United Nations investigators warned in a damming report on Monday.

The report also documented that weapons sent to the national army and supposed to be used to defend the country's internationally-backed government had instead been seen on open sale in at least one market where Shabaab agents bought arms.

"Underlying corruption as a system of governance has not yet fundamentally changed and, in some cases, arguably has worsened," the new report by the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea read.

The UN Security Council last year allowed a partial lifting of an arms embargo on the country to allow the national army to rearm, but "some of the weapons and ammunition have been diverted to arms markets in Mogadishu," the report read.


Financially, the UN experts said they had "consistently found patterns of misappropriation with diversion rates of between 70 and 80%.

"The indications are that diverted funds are used for partisan agendas that constitute threats to peace and security," said the 482-page confidential report.

Around a third of revenues from the capital's busy seaport, a key source of income totalling millions of dollars for the internationally funded government, cannot be accounted for.

Meanwhile the al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab have shifted tactics in the face of sustained military assaults by the 22 000-strong African Union force and repeated air strikes, including last month's assassination of insurgent commander Ahmed Abdi Godane.

But air and drone strikes are doing little to damage the force in the long term.


"Strategic strikes have in general resulted in short-term gains but significantly failed to diminish al-Shabaab's operation capacity," the report read.

"There is no current evidence that they have the potential to 'degrade and destroy' al-Shabaab."

At home, the Shehab have increased their use of bombs including the "noticable" introduction of magnetic vehicle bombs, a tactic previously more commonly used in Afghanistan and Iraq, and which "may represent a transfer of battlefield knowledge to Somalia," it added.

The report also says the Shabaab, who carried out the September 2013 massacre in the Kenyan capital Nairobi's Westgate mall, continue to pose a regional threat.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  somalia  |  east africa

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