Corruption in Somalia

Located at the horn of Africa is the world’s most corrupted country, Somalia. Corrupt government systems, illegal activities, insecurity, instability, dysfunctional judicial systems, and the absence of any regulating legal form all these factors contribute to building up the corruption in Somalia. All the business procedures are carried out with the help of patronage network and most importantly, the continuous involvement of the government in embezzlements of public funds is at its pinnacle of Somalian corruption. Finally, bribery is found to be the most common in all the sectors that contracts the frequent involvement of corruption in this hooked and crooked state of Africa. 

The most corrupt system in this place is the judicial system. When dealing with court procedures, many businesses have to face an alarming corruption risk causing them to a hefty loss. The judicial institution is subjected to political interference resulting in this system to be ineffective. Civil courts of Somalia are non-functional and are dependent upon local clans to establish authority. Moreover, no Somalian authority respects court orders and laws. 

Corruption is rife within the security apparatus of Somalia. Authorities are incapable and ineffective in controlling the corruption within the police force. This has forced the companies of Somalia to cooperate with many violent groups or arm themselves against criminal threats. The Somali National Army faces rampant corruption and thus they are inflating their troop numbers to obtain greater funding. In 2015, President Hassan Sheikh Mohammad was forced to replace the chief of armed forces because of the continuous cases of misappropriation and corruption against him. 

Coming to working with Land administration, it is also corrupted, as authorities are incapable of protecting property rights. With no proper functioning of land registry and absence of land, deeds lead to forgery and corruption. 

Most businesses operate through an informal system because of the absence of tax administration in Somalia. As a result, these businesses go untaxed. The incapability of government to collect both taxes and control the state has resulted in the rise of rebel groups. They have established their unique tax collection system to operate in the areas, which are under their control. 

Bribery is the most common factor in the customs sector. Many businesses face extensive corruption when clearing goods through Mogadishu Port. A trade of counterfeited goods is a run off the mill job at Somalia’s borders. This has also served the rebel groups like Al Shabab with armed forces. 

Another most corrupted sector of Somalia is the industries of natural resources. They are jeopardized by corruption and insecurity. This sector is completely unregulated in the petroleum industries. Many international agencies have access to the oil exploration license issued by local and national authorities. Several shreds of evidence have found against the Somalian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources of transferring money incurred by selling fishing licenses into a private Djibouti ministerial bank. 

The provisional constitution is the legal framework of this country, which has criminalized bribery of official authorities, abuse of office, trading, and embezzlements. The government’s inefficiency to regulate any official laws on these criminal activities has led to an official engaging of corruption. There is no proper developed system of revenue in Somalia and as a result, there are no transparent records of collection or distribution of these funds. 

The most corrupted part of Somalia is the civil sector. There is a right to speech and press protected under the constitution of Somalia but these rights are violated fully. In the case of journalists, 

Somalia ranks the highest. Numerous journalists have been killed in 2013 and 2014 who have raised their voices against the legal system of the state. Journalists are also under the threat of the terrorist group Al-Shabab that prohibits the act of journalism in areas under their control. 

Corruption is a major factor for instability in the country and thus, fighting corruption in Somalia is a challenging task and needs every support possible. Transparency is a great option to start with. All the international institutions and agencies supporting Somalia should give a transparent account of their funding programs and the same implies to the Somalian government.

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Sakshi Kocher

A young and energetic girl from India who is following here passion of writing.


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