In the last few weeks, officials from the Somaliland Auditor-General have been conducting investigations at multiple government agencies including local governments, and have announced multiple arrests across the country.
In an interview given to the VOA Somali, Mr. Ahmed Yusuf Dirir, the Auditor General of Somaliland announced the arrests and stated that criminal complaints have been filed and the process is going through the judiciary channels.
Although the Auditor-General’s Office has investigated government agencies such as the Ministry of Education and Science and Hargeisa Local Municipality, the Civil Service Commission, and many more, no information has emerged on what was uncovered and no arrests made. Auditor-General reports are not available to the media and the public at large for scrutiny.
In the interview with VOA Somalia, Mr. Ahmed Yusuf Dirir stated that his office has arrested officials from Borama, Berbera, and Burao and charged them with corruption.
Charges were filed against the former Minister of Information and Culture Mr. Abdirahman Abdillahi Farah (Guri-Barwaqo) and the former Defense Minister Mr. Issa Ahmed Hawar along with other officials from those ministries in March 2019.
The Auditor-General’s office has filed criminal complaints against ministers and director-generals in the early months of President Muse Bihi Abdi’s administration, no one was convicted of a crime although most of the officials named in the complaints have been fired as a result.
According to sources, many of the officials charged with corruption are mid to low level and are mostly from local municipalities. It is unclear if the charges filed will cause convictions and prison sentences.
Efforts to reach officials from the Auditor-General’s office to ask about the reason for increased activity after years of inactivity and why their previous criminal complaints have not resulted in convictions were unsuccessful.