Somalia: Former army chief denies U.N. report of troops not being paid

Published: October 10, 2015

Somalia: Former army chief denies U.N report of troops not being paidFormer Somalia’s army of chief has strongly denied a report by the UN Monitoring group on Somalia and Eritrea claiming that the Somali troops have went unpaid for the last six months, which is a threat to the offensive against al-Shabaab militants.
General Dahir Aden Ilmi, who was sacked last month by the cabinet said that the U.S. government paid the salaries of the Somali forces over the past six months.
Somalia’s inability to pay and even feed its soldiers threatens to undermine years of hard-won military gains against Islamist al Shabaab rebels, with corruption sapping morale and weakening the army in the war against the militants, said a report published by the Reuters news agency.
‘’The report by the Monitoring Group is totally baseless. Their aim of the report is to secure their budget,’’ he said in an interview with the VOA Somali Service.
An unpublished report by a U.N. monitoring group seen by Reuters suggests corruption was one reason for non-payment of wages.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.
Funding for the Somali army is a complex affair involving contributions from donor nations, the U.N. and the Somali government. Individual countries sometimes pledge to cover salaries for a limited number of soldiers for a few months, and when the money runs out, salaries don’t get paid.
Last month, the Ugandan troops which are part of the African Union peacekeepers in Somalia revealed that they had not been paid for nine months.
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