By Hassan Keynan
Somalia’s mercurial Finance Minister is at it again doing what he does best: peddling fiction and deception. Yesterday the good Dr. unveiled the $112 million Somali Urban Resilience Project (SURP).
Today the fickle Finance Guru went on TV and declared the message he delivered to the nation the day before ‘null and avoid.” Speaking in Somali, Minister Beileh stated that the project that was signed yesterday has been put on hold due to “complaints” without specifying what were the complaints, by whom, or their merit and legitimacy. Mr. Beileh even tried, quite clumsily, to mislead the public about the nature and focus of the project.
The truth of the matter is that Minister Beileh was ordered by the Prime Minister to confuse and mislead the public purely for political considerations directly connected with the elections under way in Galmudug State. Both President Farmaajo and Prime Minister have heavily invested in the elections in Galmudug and the action taken by the Finance Minister is clearly intended to serve this partisan political agenda.
It is sad to watch a senior minister of the caliber of Dr Beileh weaponizing aid and development cooperation in a poor and extremely fragile state in the service of a predatory cabal.
If Minister Beileh and his shameless bosses are serious about fair and equal distribution of international aid, they should publish a list of all projects financed by the international community during the past three years:
2017: $2 billion
2018: $1.96 billion
2019: $900 million
As for the World Bank and all donors contributing to the Somali Multi-Partner Fund (SMPF), they ought to explain how funds donated by the international community to the Somali people ended up being used to boost Villa Somalia bizarre and fraudulent re-election bid.
The World Bank has established procedures and strict protocols that guide and underpin its operations. The WB Country Manager for Somalia must ensure the SURP project is implemented in full compliance with these principles.
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Hassan Keynan is a former Professor at the Somali National University and a retired Senior UN Official who worked in Africa, Asia, and Europe