Friday, February 14, 2014

Graft allegations test West's ties to Somali president

NAIROBI, Feb 14 (Reuters) - A resignation letter by Somalia's central bank governor sent from Dubai has thrown Western donors into a quandary over supporting a government they need to fight al Qaeda's local allies.
Governor Yussur Abrar quit after only seven weeks in the job, alleging she had been pressured to accept arrangements she believed would open the door to corruption.
With one email, she sucked President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud into a dispute over the recovery of frozen Somali assets from abroad, embarrassing foreign donors who have pledged billions to rebuild his shattered nation after two decades of chaos.
Divisive clan politics have bedevilled Somalia throughout its long civil war and more recent insurgency by the Islamist militants of al Shabaab, the local franchise of al Qaeda.
Western governments, determined to avoid another military involvement like in Iraq and Afghanistan, threw their support behind Mohamud, an Indian-educated former university professor and civil rights activist. They also strongly backed U.S.-educated Abrar, a senior international banker, when she became Somalia's first female central bank chief.
Now the two have fallen out. Mohamud denies wrongdoing and Abrar provided no documentary evidence to support her complaints in her Oct. 30 resignation letter.
Nevertheless, the allegations shocked Western diplomats and United Nations officials who have put so much faith in the president to restore Somalia's stability.
Nicholas Kay, the U.N. Special Representative to Somalia, described Abrar's resignation to the Security Council as a "body blow" to donor confidence. It underlined the need for stronger management of public finances, he said.
Diplomats said the U.N. Monitoring Group for Somalia, which presents its findings to the Security Council, is now investigating her allegations.
Abrar waited until she was in the United Arab Emirates before quitting. In her letter, which Reuters has reviewed, she did not accuse Mohamud of graft. However, she said she had "continuously been asked to sanction deals and transactions that would contradict my personal values and violate my fiduciary responsibility to the Somali people".
Without giving names, Abrar said she had been "undermined by various parties within the administration".
A former Citigroup vice president, Abrar said she had vehemently opposed a contract with U.S. law firm Shulman Rogers under which it is trying to recover the assets from abroad. This, she said, would "put the frozen assets at risk and open the door to corruption".
Abrar also said in her resignation letter that she had been warned by "multiple parties" that her personal security would be at risk if she went against the president's wishes.
Sources familiar with Abrar's version of events told Reuters that the pressure on her to sanction the contract had come from the president and his foreign minister at the time.
Abrar declined to elaborate publicly on her allegations when asked by Reuters, although she said in an email: "Tackling corruption was vital to create trust with international partners and to move the country forward economically, socially and politically."
Mohamud told Reuters he never put pressure on Abrar to sign any contract. "I have a very clear record in government since I came to power," he said on the sidelines of an African Union summit in Ethiopia.
A Shulman Rogers representative denied its contract opened the door to graft. "It is as clean a contract and as clean a deal as you can possibly have," he told Reuters.
The sources said that according to Abrar, the former foreign minister had also pressed her to open a bank account in Dubai against her wishes. Abrar resigned without opening it.
Mohamud told Reuters there had been no time "that I ever asked my governor to open an account in my name".
According to Abrar, the assets and money from Middle East donors would be channelled through the Dubai account before transfer to Somalia, the sources said. She believed this account would be controlled by the president, they said, and that money outside the central bank account could not be tracked, leaving it open to corruption and theft.

Abrar resigned only a few months after a conference when governments promised $2.5 billion to help rebuild Somalia, a pledge seen as a collective endorsement of Mohamud's leadership.
Four days after she quit, Western ambassadors - who live in Kenya and make only brief visits to Mogadishu as it remains a dangerous city - met in a luxury Nairobi hotel on a Sunday afternoon to thrash out their response.
One diplomat who was in the room said many ambassadors who backed Mohamud and the large amount of Western aid for Somalia under his presidency were "extremely angry, feeling betrayed".
A few days after the Nairobi meeting, envoys including from the United States and Europe met Mohamud at Mogadishu's heavily fortified airport - the journey to the presidential palace being too dangerous due to the threat of suicide bombers.
U.N. minutes of the meeting show envoys made their feelings known in a discussion about Abrar's resignation.
"Sweden, Norway, the US and the EU expressed their deep concern about recent events, noting that the confidence and trust in Somalia have been shaken tremendously," said the minutes of the Nov. 7 meeting, reviewed by Reuters.
In response, the president said Abrar had given no details of her concerns about the Shulman Rogers contract and that he had never threatened her, the minutes show.
Reuters spoke to 12 diplomats involved in Somalia and all said Abrar's version of events was credible.


Abrar's predecessor Abdusalam Omer signed the contract with Shulman Rogers. He resigned in September after a U.N. report said the central bank effectively functioned under his leadership as a "slush fund", with about 80 percent of withdrawals made for private purposes and not for the running of government.
Omer rejected the accusations in the report.

According to the sources familiar with Abrar's allegations, she said she had come under pressure to approve the arrangement with Shulman Rogers after she became governor.
However, the sources said she feared people involved in the search for the frozen assets, but not formally employed by the government or Shulman Rogers, would take a cut of recovered funds. She did not publicly explain the basis for this belief.

Shulman Rogers and a presidential spokesman said Somali businessman Musa Ganjab had been involved in the search. However, they denied the law firm or the government would pay him for this work or that he would take an improper cut of the recovered funds. Ganjab did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

According to Abrar, pressure to approve the arrangement came right from the top, including the former foreign minister, Fozia Yusuf Haji Aden, and the president, the sources familiar with her version of events said.

"(This) never happened. I never came across it, I never asked, I never heard it, I only heard after she resigned (about) all these things, not before," Mohamud said.
Shulman Rogers told Reuters it had spent almost four years searching for the assets, which former governor Omer said included money in private Swiss bank accounts, gold held in foreign central banks, cash and real estate.

The sources said the tipping point for Abrar was pressure she says she came under from Aden and other officials to open the Dubai bank account. Saying she believed her safety was at risk, Abrar agreed to co-operate and fly to Dubai to open the account. Instead, when she arrived, she resigned and headed to the United States.

Mohamud denied that an account was to be opened in Dubai, adding that he instructed Shulman Rogers to put recovered assets into a central bank account. The U.S. law firm confirmed this and denied the Dubai account plan had existed.

Reuters requests for an interview with former foreign minister Aden made through the presidency were declined. However, a presidency spokesman said it was "absolutely not true" that Aden, who lost her portfolio in a January cabinet reshuffle, had put pressure on Abrar over the Shulman Rogers contract or the Dubai bank account.

Some diplomats interviewed by Reuters admitted that Western powers were unlikely to hold back aid or military support to Somalia worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
This, they said, would only destroy the president's authority and boost al Shabaab which wants to overthrow his government. But their trust in Mohamud will be restored only if he gets serious about tackling graft, they said.

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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

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