Somali govt forces inefficient and corrupt

March 14, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Mar 14 – Despite international assistance the Somali government\’s military forces are ineffective and corrupt, and it remains dependent on foreign troops for survival, a UN group concluded in a report.

"Despite infusions of foreign training and assistance, government security forces remain ineffective, disorganised and corrupt," the UN\’s Monitoring Group on Somalia said in a report to be presented to the Security Council this week.

Somalia\’s internationally-backed Transitional Federal Government has been boxed into a tiny perimeter in the capital Mogadishu by an insurgency launched in May 2009 by the Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab group and its more political Hezb al-Islam allies.

The Shebab now control most of the centre and south of the Horn of Africa country, which has embroiled in a virtually non-stop civil war since 1991.

The UN group said "the military stalemate is less a reflection of opposition strength than of the weakness of the Transitional Federal Government."

It described government forces as "a composite of independent militias loyal to senior government officials and military officers who profit from the business of war and resist their integration under a single command."

The UN group said last November the government had about 2,900 operational troops, although it could also count on the support of some militias Mogadishu thought to number between 5,000 and 10,000 fighters.

However, the UN group concluded that the Somali government "owes its survival to the small African Union peace support operation AMISOM, rather than to its own troops."

AMISOM currently has roughly 5,000 Ugandan and Burundian troops, who fight back nearly daily attacks on the Somali government by Shebab militants.


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