News / Africa

Somali Central Bank Chief Quits Over Graft Concerns

FILE - People walk outside Somalia's central Bank in Hamarwayne district, south of capital Mogadishu, May 16, 2013.
FILE - People walk outside Somalia's central Bank in Hamarwayne district, south of capital Mogadishu, May 16, 2013.
Reuters
Somalia's central bank governor has resigned less than two months into the job, citing pressure to authorize improper deals, diplomats said on Monday.
 
The departure of Yussur Abrar, the first woman to occupy the post, is a blow to foreign donors pumping billions of dollars in aid money into a Horn of Africa country grappling with an Islamist insurgency.
 
It will also embarrass the government of Somalia, which has been promising to enforce higher standards in its management of state accounts. It has dismissed previous allegations by a U.N. group of experts of corruption at the central bank.
 
Somali officials were not available or offered no immediate comment when asked, although Reuters made repeated attempts to contact them since last week. Abrar did not respond to an email sent to her by Reuters.
 
Somalia's  federal government, whose control barely extends beyond the boundaries of the capital Mogadishu, has very few sources of revenue and relies heavily on aid as it tries to rebuild institutions and an economy shattered by two decades of war and chaos.
 
One senior diplomat said the resignation of Abrar had rattled donors who have said cleaner management of public finances is vital to securing a fragile economic recovery, debt relief and budget support.
 
“What [Abrar's resignation] has done is woken up a lot of people,” said one senior European diplomat. “The notion that there is a blank check for Somalia, that's over. There's got to be results for money.”
 
His comments were echoed by two other diplomats and by one source with a close knowledge of Somalia affairs.
 
Abrar's predecessor, Abdusalam Omer, quit in September after U.N. monitors linked him to irregularities regarding millions of dollars withdrawn from the central bank. Omer denied the allegations.
 
The election by parliament in September last year of President Hassan Sheik Mohamud, a relative political new-comer, was hailed by his supporters and donors as a vote for change.
 
Western allies have poured money into Somalia, wary of a slide back into anarchy and all-out war in a country foreign capitals consider a hotbed of Islamic militancy.
 
The U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea said in July that Mogadishu's central bank had become a “slush fund” for political leaders and that Omer had played a central role in irregularities surrounding unaccountable disbursements.
 
The government said international investigators, commissioned by Mogadishu, had cleared it of those accusations.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid