Sunday, October 18, 2015
Somalia’s finance minister Mohamed Adan Farketi signed with the UAE ambassador to Somalia Mohamed Ahmed Othman Al-Hammadi
MOGADISHU (HOL) – The United Arab Emirates pledged financial assistance to Somalia’s army in an effort to encourage the rebuilding of the army which is struggling against mounting challenges including lack of regular pay and corruption which is sapping their morale.
The new initiative was made after an assistance agreement Somalia’s finance minister Mohamed Adan Farketi signed with the UAE ambassador to Somalia Mohamed Ahmed Othman Al-Hammadi in Mogadishu on Saturday in a bid to address the challenges facing by the irregularly-paid Somali army.
The development is a major incensive for the horn of Africa nation’s national army which is struggling to contain a stubborn insurgency by the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab group.
Mr. Al-Hammadi, the UAE ambassador has reiterated his country’s willingness to assist Somalia in rebuilding its army, highlighting the importance of paying troops’ salaries.
Somalia’s finance minister Mr. Farketi has on his part noted the financial challenging preventing Somalia from paying its army on regular basis, express gratitude to the Emirates for the assistance.
The development comes after a new unpublished report by a U.N. monitoring group suggested corruption was one reason for non-payment of wages. In the report, the group accuses senior Somali military commanders of inflating troop numbers and embezzling funds bound for salaries, according to Reuters.
The report was compiled for the U.N. Security Council and will not be published until member nations have reviewed it
Experts say one of the reasons Somalia's army has not buckled under such conditions was help from better-equipped AU peacekeepers, who often share personal rations and fuel with Somali soldiers with whom they fight side-by-side, Reuters reported.