Thursday February 13, 2020
NAIROBI (HOL) -The U.S has resumed support to Somali National Army two years after it suspended following corruption claims but remained categorical the support will only be tied to operations ‘focused on defeating terrorist organizations.’
A statement from the embassy Wednesday noted the support was a result of steps by the Federal Government to reform the military.
“The United States resumed providing direct security assistance to a non-mentored unit of the Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF) this week in support of counterterrorism operations in Lower Shabelle against al Shabaab,” the statement added in part.Noting that the reforms had given the United States confidence to support the military, embassy spokesman Ryan Grizzle said Somali government must ‘continue prioritizing security sector reforms, including asset management and human resources, as part of the comprehensive effort to build and sustain capable, professional, and accountable security force’.
The U.S suspended support to SNA save for the Danab brigade which it trains in Baledogle base in December 2017 following corruption claims and lack of accountability within the military.
LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY
“During recent discussions between the United States and the Federal Government of Somalia, both sides agreed that the Somali National Army had failed to meet the standards for accountability for U.S. assistance,” as State Department official anonymously quoted by Reuters said then.
Prime Minister Hassan Khaire later confirmed the suspension admitting there were reasonable grounds to suspend the support.
The funding cut which saw the U.S withdraw food and fuel support forced Somali government to source for alternative sources even as the UAE ended its military training programme in Somalia in April 2018.
Currently a soldier earns $230 per month.
The U.S embassy Wednesday also called for reconciliation between the Federal Government and Federal Member States.
The announcement of resumption of aid to the military came a day the U.S ambassador to Somalia Donald Yamamoto alongside AFRICOM commander Gen. Stephen Townsend held talks with Jubbaland President Ahmed Madobe in Kismayu.