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Part 2 Country Case Studies, 11 The Impact of Endemic Corruption on Constitutionalism and Peace-building in Somalia

Ibrahim Harun

From: Corruption and Constitutionalism in Africa

Edited By: Charles M. Fombad, Nico Steytler

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved.date: 26 November 2022

(p. 260) 11  The Impact of Endemic Corruption on Constitutionalism and Peace-building in Somalia

1.  Introduction

Corruption is an increasingly problematic phenomenon in both developed and developing countries.1 In societies transitioning from war to peace, it is a key challenge to peace, the rule of law, and economic development.2 Corruption impedes the fight to alleviate poverty,3 jeopardizes international aid and foreign direct investment, undermines the legitimacy and effectiveness of government, and increases the risk of renewed violence.4 It has become apparent, too, that it has a profound effect on all aspects of peace-building processes, including institution-building, disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration. Similarly, corruption is seen as having a huge impact on every element of constitutionalism.5

In Somalia, corruption is of growing concern both to the Somali people and to the international community, and is consistently singled out as a serious problem. In international rankings on corruption, Somalia has remained stubbornly at the bottom of the pile in recent years.6 In 2005, it was ranked 144th on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index; by 2009, it had slipped into 180th place. In 2016, Somalia was ranked 176th. In view of that, Somalia has maintained the unenviable title of the country seen as the most corrupt in the world.

Corruption is a major challenge in all areas of life in Somalia, threatening the country’s fragile peace, stability, and security; undermining the institutions and values of democracy; destroying ethics, values, and justice; and jeopardizing the constitutionalism that is slowly starting to emerge. The overall result is that corruption is decelerating the state-building process, eroding developmental gains, and impeding progress in achieving the rule of law, access to basic services, and a free-market economy. In response, both the Somali government and international community have made the fight against corruption a stated priority.

(p. 261) This chapter raises several questions about corruption and peace-building in Somalia: (a) What are the manifestations of corruption; (b) is there a relationship between corruption and instability; and (c) to what extent does corruption undermine state stability? More specifically, the chapter examines the nexus between corruption and stability and explores the challenges hindering the anti-corruption effort in Somalia. The chapter proposes a way forward, arguing that anti-corruption measures should be seen as an important conflict-prevention tool and hence as part of the agenda for the promotion of peace and security in Somalia.

2.  The difficulty of defining corruption in fragile countries

Corruption involves improper and unlawful behaviour by public officials, both politicians and civil servants, whose positions create opportunities for the diversion of money and assets from government to these officials and their accomplices. The World Bank and Transparency International define corruption as ‘the misuse of public office for private gain’,7 but to account as well for corruption involving non-state actors, they also adopted a wider variation in which they define it as the ‘misuse of entrusted power for private gain’.

Both of these definitions pose challenges for analysing and acting strategically on corruption in fragile states. The first challenge is that in fragile states, holders of ‘public offices’ (at national, provincial, and local level) are usually not recognized as legitimately ‘public’. Instead, large sections of the population often see or treat them as hostile representatives of specific private, factional, or otherwise predatory interests. In other words, from the outset, their power has not been ‘entrusted’ to them by the entire population. Secondly, officeholders seldom maintain a clear distinction between what is public and what is private (as is typical in patrimonial systems), further diluting the meaning of ‘abuse’ or ‘misuse’ for ‘private gain’.8

In this regard, Philip notes that in complete chaos there is no corruption; he argues that, for corruption to exist, there must be some form of office or position of trust and responsibility, along with rules and norms within a wider system of order that is to some degree intelligible and hegemonic.9 In the absence of a formal legal framework and shared norms for public office, corruption is often interpreted as anything that goes against the public interest.10 Philip, who has written extensively on this issue, proposes the following definition of corruption, one which is relevant specifically to fragile states:

Corruption in politics occurs where a public official (A), acting in ways that violate the rules and norms of office, and that involve personal, partisan or sectional gain, harms the interests of the public (B) (or some sub-section thereof) who is the designated beneficiary of that office, to benefit themselves and/or a third party (C) who rewards or otherwise incentivises (A) to gain access to goods or services they would not otherwise obtain.11

(p. 262) This definition comes closest to incorporating the characteristics of corruption that matter most for fragile states. Importantly, it shows that public office and public interest are separate but interlinked concepts. In addition, corruption is distinguished from other misdemeanours given that it involves a violation of the standards expected of the public office in question. To have a conception of corruption is to recognize that a political office has a function within society and that particular standards are associated with the execution of that function. An act of corruption, as opposed to any act of malfeasance, thus has particular negative political consequences. The definition also recognizes that not all acts of corruption are necessarily illegal. Furthermore, it is useful in distinguishing corruption from mere theft and embezzlement as well as from the general problem of lack of accountability and transparency.

2.1  Corruption in fragile countries

Corruption is frequently reported as a major concern of local populations and foreign aid agencies during transitions to peace, and has thus become a crucial item on the international security agenda.12 Studies of collapsing or failing states have shown repeatedly that widespread corruption contributes to governance difficulties and capacity breakdown, hence impacting adversely on the regime’s legitimacy. A case in point is Somalia, where, as in many African countries, the spoils of corruption (such as nepotism, rent-seeking, and diversion of public funds) function as the glue of the system of neopatrimonialism. Breakdown occurs when these spoils dry up. In such circumstances, creating long-term legitimacy for a government must entail building a system of governance that avoids this contributory cause of breakdown.

Corruption in post-conflict situations has a variety of consequences. Studies increasingly highlight two important issues: on the one hand, corruption’s long-term impact on economic development and the sustainability of institutions, and on the other, its short-term impact on the stabilization goals of post-conflict peace-builders. Scholars are divided on the subject. Some emphasize corruption’s negative impact on economic development and the legitimacy and effectiveness of government;13 others show that in the short term, corruption can have a stabilizing effect by inducing ‘spoilers’ to participate in the peace process and state-building.14

Le Billon notes that for many countries, their political stability in their early post-independence history depends on this ‘corruption buys peace’ approach. Material rewards often serve to maintain the cohesion and dominance of single-party politics, with peace purchased through the integration of a restive competitive elite or large-scale redistribution to the restive masses.15 Le Billon cites the example of Senegal, where political opposition was both suppressed by, and integrated into, the ruling Union progressiste sénégalaise during the 1960s through a policy of reconciliation with the government combined with financial (p. 263) rewards.16 More often than not, corruption is deemed preferable to violence, and may even prevent it when group pressure for policy change is reduced and so long as vertical mobility exists. Scott argues in this regard that the ability of a party to organize and provide material inducements (often corruptly) is a means of solving, if only for the time being, conflict that might lead to violence.17

Similarly, Samuel Huntington saw corruption as a necessary stage in societal modernization, arguing that it is an inevitable (and thus acceptable) aspect of developing countries or societies undergoing transition.18 Additionally, he argued that corruption provides immediate, concrete benefits to groups that might otherwise be alienated from society; corruption may thus be as functional to the maintenance of a political system as political reform is.19 In the same vein, Leff notes that in the context of underdeveloped countries, where business groups are more likely to promote economic growth than the government, corruption is essential in influencing policy choices to promote growth.20 Colin contends too that ‘the greater the corruption, the greater the harmony between corruptor and corruptee’.21 Bardhan notes that ‘even at the expense of inefficiency some sharing of these spoils of office is, of course, to be tolerated for the sake of keeping ethnic envy and discontent under control’. For him, the dividends of the peace obtained by corruption outweigh the costs of inefficiencies.22

An example of how corruption may have facilitated peace-building is the case of Afghanistan, where warlords who fought the Taliban alongside American forces were rewarded with money and carte blanche rule over large swathes of the countryside as long as they continued to provide the United States with military support.23 Likewise, warlords of different rebel groups were included in Somalia’s transitional government in the early 2000s, resulting in an extended period of stability.24

Yet while corruption can help to stabilize the political order, it can also contribute to the outbreak and persistence of conflict. Le Billon notes that if the state’s control over the resources that fund corruption and internal patronage networks is threatened, the state may resort to violence to defend its control over these resources.25 For their part, Zaum and Cheng argue that corruption undermines economic development and entrenches economic inequality, potentially giving rise to new grievances and sources of conflict.26 The quick fix of buying peace could backfire and result in misery, social injustice, and lasting negative effects. For example, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola or the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone demonstrate that buying out spoilers can be a risky venture.27

The relationship between corruption and peace-building is therefore characterized by a recurring tension between approaches that accept (or even encourage) forms of corruption (p. 264) in the short term to attain greater stability and those emphasizing the need to counter corruption in the long term to lay the foundation for legitimate political institutions and sustainable economic growth.28 This paradox—encouraging some forms of corruption in the short and medium term, but fighting corruption in the long term—makes it difficult for peace-building actors to devise anti-corruption policies that will not backfire and contribute to more violence in the years immediately after government has stabilized.

2.2  Corruption and peace-building in a fragile state

In fragile states, corruption and its destabilization of the peace-building process have vast consequences, but it is beyond the scope of this chapter to assess them in their totality.29 This section thus only scratches the surface of the nexus of corruption and the peace-building process.

A literature review shows that a number of factors account for the tendency for corruption to increase in fragile countries. These include weak state institutions and administration; fragile rule of law and constitutionalism; poorly policed borders; a weak economy and strong informal economy; inequality and injustice; availability of international donor funds; and concentration of power and resources in the hands of elites. This section briefly considers some of these factors in relation to Somalia.

2.2.1  Fragile rule of law and weak enforcement capacity

Post-conflict states face unique challenges with regard to corruption. Among them are poor legal conditions; weak, underfunded, and inefficient judiciaries; fragile enforcement agencies; and continuous security problems. These challenges create an environment in which impunity and corruption can flourish.30 In the case of Somalia, the general notion has been that the fragility of the Somali state provides a breeding ground for corruption. Widespread corruption has affected all government institutions, but especially so the security sector. Ainte notes that governmental vulnerabilities enable insurgents to infiltrate and plant moles in the intelligence security apparatus, thereby complicating the reconstructive peace-building process.31

2.2.2  Weak and non-existent public institutions

In post-conflict states, the infrastructure, technical capacity, institutions, and resources needed to deliver adequate services may have been weakened significantly by the conflict. As a result, deficits in administrative capacity and resources in formal government can encourage corrupt practices among civil servants—if their salaries are low or paid late, for instance, they may resort to corruption.32 Moreover, unofficial alternative power structures (p. 265) can emerge to fill the gaps. In Somalia, in the absence of central government, al-Shabaab groups fill the gaps and in the process assert their authority over people and resources. In the areas under al-Shabaab, control is perceived to be safer and more stable than that in government-controlled areas.33

Corruption also puts the legitimacy of the post-conflict state at jeopardy. If a government is viewed as illegitimate after conflict, corruption may become endemic. This is so largely because, in the aftermath of conflict, groups unwilling to accept the peace settlement will invariably exist. It is common, for instance, for combatants or rival factions to oppose the terms of peace and dispute the legitimacy of the government. Examples are Somalia and South Sudan,34 where rebels declared the government as illegitimate.35 These spoilers (rebels and corrupt officials) may express their dissatisfaction through corrupt or criminal acts that undermine the post-conflict state. This can directly weaken the capacity of security services. For example, if soldiers remain unpaid, or their equipment is faulty because procurement budgets have been embezzled, their ability and motivation to defend the state is liable to decline.

2.2.3  Weak economy and financial resources

Corruption can undermine both the capacity and legitimacy of the state. By depriving the state of resources and misallocating them for private gain, corruption weakens the state’s ability to provide public services. Particularly in resource-rich states, the rent-seeking opportunities that come with corruption can provide incentives for violent conflict in that those who are excluded from power and rents may use violence to attempt to access and control such opportunities: a corrupt state then becomes a prize to be fought over.36

Conversely, in resource-scarce countries rent-seeking groups look to alternative ways to accumulate wealth. For instance, the United Nations Panel of Experts on Somalia reports that a lack of natural resources is compensated for by illegal means of generating income and capital accumulation,37 such as state capture, extortion, intimidation, kidnapping,38 protection money, spying for rebels, defection to rebel groups, and illegal occupation of private property.39 Given that these activities are the main ways in which rival factions generate income, they fuel conflict and prolong the state-building process.

The absence of enforceable laws and regulations governing the private sector can result in black markets and other illicit economic activities that exploit a country’s resources and contribute little to its growth and development.40 Most of Somalia’s economy relies (p. 266) on an informal sector based on livestock and remittances from the diaspora. According to the International Crisis Group,41 the unregulated market system that came into being after the fall of Siyad Barre’s regime stimulated entrepreneurial energy in the country but is also partly responsible for fuelling violence and corruption. Smuggling and illegal trafficking of goods is but one element of the informal economy that tends to overtake the taxable, law-based formal economy in Somalia, as a result of which the federal government loses a major source of revenue. In 2011, al-Shabaab is said to have received more than USD70 million through taxation and illegal exports of charcoal to the United Arab Emirates.42 Recently, Epstein noted that the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is also engaged in a sugar-smuggling racket through Somali Ports, which mostly benefits al-Shabaab.43

2.2.4  Post-conflict distribution of economic and political powers to elites

After decades of effort to support development and achieve security despite corruption, a growing number of actors in the international policy arena are trying to understand and address corruption itself. The single greatest challenge they face is intense opposition from the political and economic elites who benefit from corruption. The problem of corrupt elites is analogous to what peace-implementation literature refers to as the ‘spoiler’s problem’.44 If the rule of law and state-building are to move to the centre of post-conflict peace-building, as Spector and others have argued, then ‘governance spoilers’ likewise must be identified and have strategies developed to confront them.45

Menkhaus classified Somali governance spoilers into three categories: situational spoilers who are dissatisfied by their share of the pie in the peace talks; intrinsic spoilers, those who have deeply vested interest in perpetuating lawlessness such as criminals, militia gangs, individuals, and groups; and finally risk-averse spoilers such as prominent Mogadishu business communities who profited from the war and remained doubtful of the outcomes of the peace talks relative to their economic empires.46 Elsewhere, Menkhaus noted that spoilers in Somalia are driven by their desire to perpetuate a state failure and profit from war economies.47

For corrupt elites, corruption is critical to access the resources that are needed to fulfil demands for patronage and services, demands often arising from kinship obligations. For non-elites, engaging in corruption may be necessary to meet their most basic needs, even when they are aware of the detrimental effects of doing so. In recent decades, conflicts have been increasingly self-financed through elite exploitation of black markets and natural resources, a situation creating special challenges for peace-building. Elites may have little incentive (p. 267) to seek peace, seeing as they profit from war; in Somalia, as is shown in Section 4.2, elites worked to secure their economic future, exploited the competing tensions between state-building and peace-building initiatives. As a result, corrupt elites have played a big role in prolonging conflict.

2.2.5  The role of international donor funds

In the period immediately after the establishment of peace, there can be a gap in the capacity of the state to absorb and utilize, especially in a transparent and accountable fashion, the immense international funds that are often provided by foreign donors. The large volumes of money that flow into war-ravaged economies can, in other words, contribute to corruption rather than prevent it.48 That being said, scholars are divided on whether aid flows from donor funds increase or decrease corruption.49

In Somalia, corrupt elites and warlords see international aid as enrichment opportunities. After the fall of the military regime, the influx of international aid increases, with robbery, blackmail, and roadblocks becoming lucrative propositions. Given the complex system of gatekeepers in Somalia, for example, food distribution is common: people entitled to food aid may lose one-third to one-half of their share to gatekeepers. For instance, those receiving commodities such as school fees, hospital bills, fishing boats, or cash benefits are often subject to corruption.50

The UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea reports that international funds intended for Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) have been going missing, saying that for every ten US dollars received, seven never make it into state coffers.51 Edmund Blair, reading from UN Monitoring Group reports, notes that about USD12 million of 16.9 million of international aid transferred by Pricewaterhouse Coopers to the Central Bank of Somalia could not be traced.52 Ultimately, corrupt officials and criminal networks continue to perpetuate conflict in Somalia using these stolen funds.

(p. 268) 3.  Somalia’s political, economic, and security outlook

3.1  Somalia’s political outlook

The crisis in Somalia involves a mutation of civil war and clan factionalism into an ideological conflict of global proportions.53 The cumulative effect of this conflict has been the displacement of the civil population, the breakdown of law and order, the collapse of public institutions and services, and the rise of piracy and terrorism.

Attempts by the international community to unite Somalia under a viable national government have been futile due to fighting, lack of political consensus, threats from al-Shabaab rebel groups,54 corruption, and continued interference in Somali affairs by external actors.55 In spite of these impediments, Somalia is slowly moving towards constitutional stability. For example, in 2012 the Somali federal government was formed under the leadership of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was credited with transforming federalism from an idea on paper into a political reality on the ground. Significantly, during his tenure, four federal member states were established: Jubaland, Hirshabelle, South West, and Galmudug.

In early 2017, an indirect election was held in which members of both houses of the Federal Parliament, namely the House of the People and the Upper House, voted to elect the speaker of the House of the People and the President of the Republic.56 A direct election was impossible because of the prevailing insecurity. Even so, a joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament voted out Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in favour of Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo as President. Although the entire indirect election was believed to be corrupt, Somalia exhibited a relatively credible presidential election that resulted in a peaceful transfer of power.57

The new government nonetheless faces an array of challenges that will hinder the establishment of a democratic government; key among them are threats from al-Shabaab and widespread corruption. Since the deployment of AMISOM, al-Shabaab has been significantly contained but remains a lethal force with the capacity to continue destabilizing the country.58

(p. 269) 3.2  Somalia’s economic situation

Somalia’s economy has been shaped by civil war, and as a result the country’s socio-economic indicators remain very weak. The federal government continues to depend on foreign aid and livestock production, with 60 per cent of the population deriving a livelihood from pastoral livestock production. Somalia’s fragile economic base remains a constraint on the government’s ability to generate the revenue needed to reconstruct a stable economy.

Furthermore, the government lacks the ability to collect taxes or provide essential basic services effectively. Although some duties and taxes are collected, little or no fiscal policy exists. Somalia’s economy has grown modestly in recent years. Between 2013 and 2017, real annual GDP growth averaged 2.5 per cent. Nonetheless, the growth has not been sufficient to translate into poverty reduction. The Federal Government has continued to broaden its tax bases. Revenue collection improved steadily in the last six years, with a remarkable gain in 2017, rising from USD117.4 million to USD246.5 million. The increase in domestic revenue according to the third Somalia Economic Update (SEU) 2018 is attributed to the implementation of new strategies such as sales taxes on telecommunications and hotels, the removal of income tax exemptions for legislatures and payments of landing fees by international flights. In the absence of a formal commercial banking sector, remittance companies have enabled Somalis in the diaspora to remit about USD1.3 billion annually to families in Somalia.59

The SEU further noted that Somalia’s economy grew by 2.3 percent in 2017, down from 4.4 per cent in 2016, reflecting the impact of enormous losses seen in livestock and crop production and exports. Sustained support by the international community has helped to avoid a severe humanitarian crisis in 2017. The GDP growth slowed to an estimated 2.4 per cent in 2017, due to mainly droughts and is projected to recover to 3.5 per cent in 2019.

The airport and the port of Mogadishu are regarded as two important sources of income for the federal government. Monthly revenue from the port of Mogadishu is about USD3.8 million; however, from August 2012 to March 2013, only USD2.7 million was deposited in the bank.60 Since the fall of the military government, most government expenditure is financed through international aid. For instance, Somalia recently received about USD1 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA), including both humanitarian and developmental assistance. In the past, aid was mostly humanitarian in nature, but under the New Deal an increasing proportion of ODA is directed towards longer-term development.61 In 2018, the European Union pledged 200 million to support Somalia’s reconstruction plans.62

With the collapse of the central government, the private sector has demonstrated resilience in areas such as telecommunications, livestock, and fisheries. The diaspora has played (p. 270) a major role in this regard by injecting a significant inflow of funds through a sophisticated banking system. Individual suppliers, including a dynamic financial sector, offer the majority of services. In the absence of public-owned infrastructure, various telecommunications companies have sprung up, funded by Somali entrepreneurs and backed by expertise from, among others, China, South Korea, and certain European countries.63

3.3  Security and the rule of law

Security in Somalia has continued to deteriorate. The biggest security risk is posed by extremist groups, in particular al-Shabaab. Somalia ranked seventh on the Global Terrorism Index in 2017.64 It has been among the top-ten most dangerous countries in terms of terrorism for the past eight years.65. Between 2012 and 2013, the number of people killed in terrorist attacks increased by 32 per cent, accounting for nearly 3 per cent of the world’s death rate due to terrorist activity.66 In 2014, up to 469 incidents of terrorism occurred in the country, making it one of Somalia’s worst years of terrorism.67 Contributing to Somalia’s destabilization is the illicit flow of arms into the country.

Against this backdrop, reforms over the past few years have seen Somalia reach the early stages of establishing a Somali National Army to replace the one that was dissolved in 1991.68 The Somali National Army is currently made up of 20,000 troops. Somalia also has between 40,00 and 45,000 armed Somalia personnel in the army, police, and security services or paramilitary paid by the federal government or federal member states.69 However, it relies heavily on AMISOM70 and other international forces to maintain security. The creation of a national army is an attempt to create a national institution representative of all the clans, albeit that the inclusion process remains a challenge.71 First, the Somali federal government recalled all former military and police officers into active duty without any vetting process and irrespective of their past records. Secondly, individuals who occupied prominent positions in repressive military regimes have been promoted to senior positions, which has created mistrust amongst security forces and other government agencies.

Somalia has continued to lack effective institutional structures. As such, enforcement agencies have been either weak or non-existent, in addition to which all of the country’s justice infrastructure, including police stations and headquarters, prison facilities and (p. 271) courthouses, have been destroyed. Furthermore, all government personnel, including police officers, judges, and prison officers, have either left the country and gone into exile, or are accused of involvement in past human rights violations. Somalia also lacks a countrywide spread of judicial institutions.

As a result of these factors, there is no effective mechanism for holding criminals and corrupt leaders accountable. Although the provisional Federal Constitution of 2012 provides for key aspects of constitutionalism such as the rule of law, limitation of government, democracy, and the protection of fundamental rights, the conditions for realizing them are not fully effective.

4.  Manifestations of corruption in Somalia

Corruption in Somalia manifests itself in the form of ‘grand corruption’, such as the misappropriation of state funds, and ‘petty corruption’, such as the use of informal payments for the provision of basic services.72 Transparency International supports the view that both petty and grand corruption permeate key sectors of the economy such as ports and airports, tax and customs collection, immigration, telecommunications, and the management of aid resources. The following subsections briefly discuss these diverse manifestations of corruption.

4.1  Government institutions and officials

Corruption has permeated most government institutions in Somalia (including executives, legislatives, judiciaries, security and enforcement agencies, and financial institutions). Both grand and petty corruption cases have been reported. Grand corruption mostly involves senior government officials steering government contracts to families or friends, dispensing patronage generally through nepotism and political favouritism, and selling weapons to al-Shabaab. In this form of corruption, critical funds needed for rebuilding state structures ravaged by civil war are diverted for private use. Petty corruption, on the other hand, affects all citizens. It includes charging unofficial fees for public services, selling government merchandise on black markets, and padding state payrolls with ghost workers. These practices have led to public cynicism and mistrust of authorities, thus fuelling a culture of lawlessness.

4.1.1  Executives, legislatures, and judiciaries

The United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea reported that corruption was rife within the former TFG executives, with malpractices reported in most government institutions.73 Malpractices included systematic misappropriation of funds,74 embezzlement, nepotism, diversion of international aid for private use,75 outright theft of tax revenue, and (p. 272) aiding and abetting organized crime and piracy. Corruption continued to be normal practice in the governments of Presidents Hassan and Farmajo. Indeed, an increasing incidence of corruption has been reported at the level of both the federal government and federal member states. The former UN Special Representative to Somalia, Michael Keating, confirmed that corruption is institutionalized in Somalia.76 For example, in July 2018 the Director of the IDP Resettlement Programme, Dahir Noor, was arrested for allegedly stealing USD84,000;77 in August 2018, the Somali Prime Minister suspended the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs following allegations of corruption, embezzlement of public funds, and abuse of office.78

The Legacy Centre for Peace and Transparency argues that corruption is so prevalent in the Somali parliament that it has become an accepted part of everyday life; conversely, the public does not challenge this status quo, one that enables corruption to continue to thrive.79 A case in point is Somalia’s idiosyncratic election process. Conditions are not yet in place for a one-person, one-vote election; accordingly, clan elders represent the people in electing members of Parliament (MPs), who then elect the President. In 2012, 135 traditional elders elected MPs, whilst in 2016, 14,025 traditional elders chose the 275 MPs. In both elections, corruption was said to be rampant, with aspiring parliamentarians corrupting elders80 and presidential aspirants corrupting parliamentary candidates.81 Analysts, investigators, and diplomats criticized these elections for their high levels of corruption.82

Corruption in the judiciary commonly entails bribery of judges and magistrates. In 2007, the Supreme Court Chief Justice, Yusuf Ali Harun, was removed from his position on charges of corruption.83 Judicial corruption undermines impartiality, neutrality, the rule of law, and public confidence in the legal system.

4.1.2  Security and enforcement agencies

Corruption is also rife within the police, the Somali National Army, and National Security Intelligence Agencies. The Somali police have long been accused of operating within a (p. 273) political culture characterized by impunity, excessive use of force, brutality, disregard for human rights, and corruption. The ever-growing corruption within the Somali police force has been one of the major obstacles to state-building processes in Somalia. More often than not, the rampant corruption in the Somali police has become the only approach through which citizens can access police and expedite services.84 The police are in themselves ineffective.85 To protect themselves from crime, companies in Somalia are forced either to cooperate with violent groups or to arm themselves against threats.86 As long as political leaders are able to use resource rents to employ security services to keep them in power, they have little incentive to meet the demands of the people; ordinary people thus have to look for alternative ways of bringing about peace and security. More often than not, al-Shabaab has filled that gap and used the opportunity to fuel conflict in Somalia.

The Somali National Army is the country’s most important security institution but it, too, suffers from rampant corruption. For instance, army leaders have inflated troop numbers systematically to obtain greater funding. The UN Monitoring Group reports that in 2014 the Somali army’s weapons and ammunition were being diverted to the open market, where al-Shabaab agents could buy them.87 The Legacy Centre said that one of the reasons that Somali National Army soldiers sell their weapons is because delays in the payment of their salaries force them to cash weapons and ammunition to raise money for food.88 In this instance, corruption undermines the state-building process, since the weapons that are sold to al-Shabaab fuel conflict in the country. Moreover, there are reported instances where family and business ties linked to Somali Army officials are contracted to provide food rations (worth USD8 million per year) to the Somali National Army.89 After a public outcry, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamed replaced the chief of the armed forces in 2015.90 Yet again in 2017, the United States suspended food and fuel aid to Somalia due to corruption.91 The UK are also concerned with the level of corruption in Somalia.92 This move supports the perception among the Somali public that the security forces are not interested in maintaining security and prefer to allow a situation of insecurity to prevail in order to sustain their economic interests.

4.1.3  Financial institutions

Public funds are frequently diverted and misappropriated. In one major case, it was found that approximately 80 per cent of payment transfers made by the Central Bank of Somalia were to private persons for non-business purposes. Government officials with close ties to former President Hassan also actively used the Central Bank to control overseas-recovered assets, including cash and gold held in banks during the Somali civil war as well (p. 274) as government property abroad.93 The Bank’s governor resigned after details of the case were revealed in 2013. His successor, appointed by the President, also resigned weeks later due to charges of serious political interference and corruption.94

The case has compelled the government to set up a Financial Governance Committee to restore the trust of international donors. The Committee is responsible for controlling corruption and securing transparency in the handling of public assets; however, only a small proportion of government contracts are shared with the Committee.95 In 2018, the Islamic Development Bank froze a million-dollar project due to accusations of corruption and mismanagement.96 The Bank contends that there is no substantial information on the programme’s achievements, that the reporting system lacks coherence, and that cash and cheque payments are not in line with the fiduciary management system.97

As this subsection has demonstrated, corruption in government institutions undermines the ability of the Somali federal government to provide public services by robbing the state of desperately needed resources. In particular, it weakens the capacity of security services to defend the state and maintain law and order. Corruption also erodes the legitimacy of the state in that the government fails to meet citizens’ expectations. These vulnerabilities have allowed al-Shabaab to infiltrate the security apparatus and extract intelligence. Consequently, corruption within the security sector in particular and public institutions in general has played a key role in fomenting and prolonging conflict in Somalia.

4.2  Somali elites and warlords

In Somalia, political and economic elites are directly linked to each other in that access to political power ensures access to economic privilege, and vice versa. The process of allocating political and administrative posts—particularly those with decision-making powers over import and export licences, logistics, and banks—is influenced by the gains that can be made from them. The political foundations are cemented as these exchanges of privileges are reciprocated by political and financial support or loyalty.

In a report to the Security Council in July 2013, the United Nations Somalia Risk Management Unit drew attention to fraud and the diversion of funds, finding that 60 per cent of contract value had been diverted to private individuals and elites connected to the presidency, ministers, and other government officials, and that fraudulent behaviour included the fabrication of vendors and favouring of sub-contracting partners or entities.98 Somali elites and leaders were also accused of sponsoring political assassinations in Mogadishu, with the UN report claiming that some warlords, and even senior government officials, ran hit squads.99

(p. 275) The emergent powerful class of elites,100 which worked to secure their economic future, exploited the competing tensions between state-building and peace-building initiatives. Corrupt elites and Somali warlords are guided mostly by their own short-term interest in maximizing power and profit. Corrupt elites within the former TFG sought to embed external interventions through the construction of false organizations associated with humanitarian assistance, for example, non-existent nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that in reality are used to siphon funds to elites. This continues to happen, and at all levels—federal, regional, and local. Actors seeking to capitalize on the growing international interest in decentralization are creating ‘briefcase administrations’ that have no local constituencies or even on-the-ground presence.101 Moreover, some of these briefcase or fake NGOs are now using the language of counterterrorism, democracy, and federalism to establish themselves as reliable actors.102

4.3  Somali clan networks

Somali clans are a double-edged sword, acting as both escalators and de-escalators of conflicts. Nearly all armed conflicts in Somalia break out along clan lines. Yet clan identities are not the basis for conflicts; it is rather their deliberate manipulation that creates and exacerbates divisions. Sharamo sees ‘Somali clans were just smokescreens for deeply predatory and rewarding war economies whose exploitation of resources and power were derived thereof, enriched in economic invest which significantly undermined peace-making efforts.’103 The significance of clan network and symbiotic ties is illustrated by ingrained an Somali saying—tolkaa ama bar ka ahaw ama badhtanka kaga jiri—translated as ‘lead or be led by your clan, but do not stand aside’.104

Somali clans play a major role in sustaining corruption. The formation of government in Somalia has been, and continues to be, determined by a traditional system of power-sharing popularly known as the 4.5 formula. In terms of this arrangement, the four largest and most powerful clans—Hawiya, Darood, Diir and Rahaweyn (Digil and Mirifile)—share the top positions in the government, while representatives of minority clans are given lesser positions. The formula was agreed on by Somali elders in an attempt to find a lasting solution to the incessant power struggles among the various clans. Appointed leaders are closely connected to their societies via ties of clan, kinship, and ethnic affiliation (diya-paying group).105

The dynamics of clan networks encourage corruption. Clan members who secure senior positions in government through election or appointment are deemed guardians of the (p. 276) interests of the clan before those of the state. As such, public officials, for instance ministers, appoint their clan members as advisors and secretaries and to other important positions. The basis for appointing officials is clan-centred loyalty rather than considerations of competence and merit. Similarly, in awards of contracts, the issuing of business licences, and the bestowal of other government benefits the clan members of the top official receive the lion’s share.

While appointing persons of one’s clan in this way is widely regarded as corruption, in Somalia it is seen as behaviour in line with customary social norms; this is similarly the case in giving gifts to and providing opportunities for family and clan members. Those who attain a position of influence or power are, in other words, expected to share the benefits thereof with their extended families and social networks; the failure to do so invites criticism, reproach, and even ostracism and conflict. Accordingly, corruption is not only entrenched in Somalia, but is also a social norm. Clienteles or patronage networks maintain patterns of inclusion and exclusion and control the distribution of valued goods (power, recognition, and wealth). Efforts to overcome this state of affairs through nation-building thus frequently lead to renewed violence by those who believe their identities, and the privileges tied to them, are being threatened.

5.  Legal and policy responses in the fight against corruption

5.1  The Provisional Constitution of the Federal Republic of Somalia, 2012

The Somali Provisional Federal Constitution embodies all the characteristic features of constitutionalism, including provisions for the supremacy of the constitution after the Shari’ah, sovereignty of the people, and government conducted according to constitutional principles. It guarantees the protection of all universally accepted fundamental rights, and provides for the separation of powers as well as checks-and-balances mechanisms, judicial review and an independent judiciary, and limited government authority subject to the constitution and fundamental human rights.106

More specifically, it contains all the essential features for fighting corruption and prosecuting corruption cases. For instance, article 111(c) provides for the establishment of an anti-corruption commission with the mandate to promote and strengthen measures for preventing and combating corruption and to promote integrity, accountability, and proper management of public resources. The Constitution requires this anti-corruption commission to be independent, impartial, representative, and inclusive. In addition, article 33 provides for just administrative decisions by stating that ‘every person has the right to administrative decisions that are lawful, reasonable and conducted in a procedurally fair manner’. Similarly, article 34 provides for fair public hearing by an independent and impartial court or tribunal, with such a hearing having to be held within a reasonable time.

Unfortunately, however, Somali is still a fragile state, and at the time of writing, only a few of the core government institutions had been established.

(p. 277) 5.2  Government efforts to combat corruption and strengthen constitutionalism

In September 2013, Somalia and the international community endorsed a New Deal compact that outlined peace- and state-building goals to enable Somalia to become more accountable to its people and institute political, financial, health, and security reforms.107 The New Deal identified five priority areas for peace-building: inclusive politics, security, justice, economic foundations, and revenue and services. Corruption was identified as a key obstacle to implementing the New Deal in Somalia.108

The Upper House and House of the People of Parliament have an oversight role over the federal executive in which they are tasked with creating a culture of accountability and transparency. In this vein, Parliament passed the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act in 2015.109 The Act established Somalia’s financial intelligence unit, the Financial Reporting Centre. Still in its initial stages, the Centre has begun to create policies and procedures, develop regulations, and coordinate with the Central Bank of Somalia to establish its role as a key agency for the prevention of money-laundering and terrorist financing. Therefore, Somalia has continued efforts to formalize its fragile financial sector and develop the Central Bank’s capacity to supervise and regulate the informal financial sector, including money-service businesses. In February 2016, the Anti-Corruption Commission Act was submitted for public consultation, though at present it is not clear how far this has progressed.

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (known as Farmajo) was elected as President by Parliament on 8 February 2017. Though it is still too early to assess his government’s anti-corruption efforts, both he and the Prime Minister have vowed to fight corruption and thereby rebuild the country. ‘This is the beginning of unity for the Somali nation, the beginning of the fight against al-Shabaab and corruption,’ a triumphant Farmajo said on being declared President,110 noting that corruption bred insecurity and impacted on all government institutions. For his part, Prime Minister Khayre reiterated that corruption is a thing of the past. Quoting Abraham Lincoln, he assured Somalis the new government would be ‘a government of the people, by the people, for the people’ and would address the country’s challenges.

In an attempt to demonstrate their seriousness, President Farmajo and Prime Minister Khayre requested government ministries to declare their assets, saying the struggle against corruption was a priority for their government.111

(p. 278) 6.  Proposals and the way forward

6.1  Strengthening rule of law and the security system

Corruption in any state is not a sudden occurrence but one that arises gradually as a challenge to institutional norms and the rule of law. If it goes unchecked, it becomes endemic, in which case private interests (be they of individuals or groups) compete with the national interest. Where private interest predominates, the state is weakened and unable to perform its core functions. It then exhibits signs of fragility, with violent conflict being one of the possible symptoms.112

Within the international community, there is thus renewed awareness of the importance of building or rebuilding states not only to improve the well-being of their citizens but also to reduce the negative spillover effects of state failure for global security. Strengthening the rule of law is key to a long-term strategy to combat terrorism and prevent the resurgence of conflict in post-conflict transitions. This renewed emphasis on strengthening the rule of law is in large part propelled by a new consensus on the importance of state-building and governance—and on the destructive role that corruption plays in this regard.

It is widely acknowledged that the central pillar of peace-building is the provision of security and that, as part of this, ‘[the] building or rebuilding of public institutions is key to sustainability’.113 Indeed, it is through state institutions that future conflicts and corruption can be managed and efforts thereby made to avoid the recurrence of violence. As the experience of many post-conflict countries vividly demonstrates, silencing the guns without ‘modification of the political environment’ will probably be unsuccessful, no matter how much external assistance and encouragement are made available.114

The situation appears all the more precarious in fully collapsed states like Somalia, where central state institutions are ruined in their entirety and virtually everything has to restart from scratch. As Lederbacht argues, achieving peace requires ‘long-term commitment to establishing an infrastructure across the levels of a society’ and to ‘empower[ing] the resources for reconciliation from within that society and maximis[ing] the contribution from outside’.115

The achievement of physical security and stability is the first of many challenging steps. Sustainable peace and stable governance structures can be put in place only if functioning and effective state institutions are reinstituted and this newly constituted state is able once again ‘to mediate effectively between distrustful clan groups, and the parties slowly gain confidence in the safeguards contained within their new ethnic contract’.116 The best way to do that is to establish state institutions based on the rule of law and at the same time be accountable to the general public. With respect to the inclusion of human rights language in the peace agreements, Hannum observes:

(p. 279)

The manner of implementation and the commitment of both the international community and national actors to that implementation are likely to be more important than the language in an agreement—although the latter at least creates the expectation that human rights concerns will be addressed in the immediate post-settlement period.117

What is central to political stability, freedom from corruption, and a viable, effective, and legitimate public order in Somalia is the reinstitution of effective internal security institutions, including the police force and criminal justice and correctional systems. Experience elsewhere offers abundant evidence that ‘[the] long-term prospects for democratic governance and stability depend especially upon viable police, security forces, and justice structures to deal with the most salient internal threats’,118 threats which include corruption. If public order is not restored immediately after the collapse of a regime, it is likely that criminal forces will fill the power vacuum and use their newly acquired power for personal gain.

In that regard, priority should be given to the demobilization of soldiers and the demilitarization of politics—that is, to the transformation of soldiers into civilians and of warring armies into political parties. The achievement of important normative goals such as the prevention of corruption, the protection of human rights, and the creation of accountability, transparency, and democracy depends on the implementation of these transformations.119 For the Somali federal government to have any chance of controlling corruption, violence, and human rights abuses, an effective security system should be established first. In turn, for security forces to be effective, a legitimate authority must be in place to win the population’s trust in the new security force.

6.2  Transparency and accountability at all levels of government

Accountability is partly a matter of institutional design. A number of measures to enhance accountability and transparency are included in the Somali Provisional Constitution, which provides for formal checks and balances and calls for the establishment of an anti-corruption authority. It is imperative therefore that the federal government establishes such an authority.

However, accountability requires political energy too. People, interest groups, civil society, the courts, the press, and opposition parties must insist that the federal government adheres to legitimate mandates and explains its actions. Horizontal accountability120 within governments depends upon the ability of one part of government to find out—and, where necessary, stop or correct—what other sectors are doing. Those demanding accountability must be confident that they can do so safely, that officials will respond honestly, and that social needs and demands are taken seriously.

Transparency too rests on a partnership: officials must make information available, and there must be government institutions and individuals to put information to use. Chief among those groups are an independent judiciary and a free, competitive, and responsible (p. 280) press, but an active civil society is critical too. Rules and procedures must be open to scrutiny and be comprehensible: a transparent government makes it clear what is being done, how and why actions take place, who is involved, by what standards decisions are made, and how it (the government) has complied with those standards.

6.3  Administrative reforms to prevent corruption

Due to the country’s many years of civil war, most government institutions in Somalia are non-existent. As a result, many NGOs and intra-governmental organizations have become de facto government, yet without any directive from or accountability to the Somali federal government and member-state governments. For instance, in the case of procurement, international donors spend millions of dollars to rebuild institutions, but in the absence of core institutions the money goes to corrupt government officials. No fundamental change can take place in Somalia in the absence of adequate capacity in governments. Administrative reform entails furthermore that an anti-corruption authority and public protector be established.

6.4  Political commitment at all levels of government

Efforts in tackling corruption in Somalia have been made largely at the national level. As such, federal member states should also make every effort to tackle corruption and each should have its own anti-corruption legislation and institutions. What is essential in the fight against corruption is political commitment at national and regional level, strong leadership in government and civil society, and the backing of a coalition of supporters, including political institutions and parties willing to push for greater accountability and transparency. Office-seekers’ commitment to fighting corruption must be solicited and nurtured before they assume political office.

6.5  Public education and information dissemination

Public education and awareness campaigns will help citizens to begin to overcome the powerlessness they feel to resist corruption in their everyday lives. If citizens are largely unaware of what constitutes corruption, of what its social and economic costs are, and of what can be done about it, they are less than likely to help fight the problem.

Further work is needed to identify practical ways to avoid involvement in corrupt practices. Part of the solution is to set up an effective complaint mechanism and to enforce the rule of law. Public awareness campaigns are thus an important starting point, but only a starting point and efforts should go way beyond them.

7.  Concluding remarks

As one of the world’s longest-standing collapsed states, Somalia faces many of the major corruption challenges that affect fragile countries, with widespread corruption and a deeply entrenched patronage system undermining the legitimacy of the Somali federal government. Corruption is exacerbated by the absence of a strong, functional central government; a lack (p. 281) of resources and administrative capacity; weak leadership structures; as well as a limited ability to pay public officials.

Quantifying corruption is difficult, given the various types of corruption and the illicit nature of the activities; it is even more difficult to assess the consequences in terms of the economic cost and societal damage. Although there are limitations to corruption-assessment methods, Transparency International believes that perceptions and other methods are useful for gauging corruption. In the organization’s Global Corruption Barometer, Somalia ranks at the very bottom as the world’s most corrupt country, where it was tied with North Korea and Sudan in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Widespread corruption has marred every aspect of Somali society and impacted on all government institutions. Corrupt government officials, corrupt Somali elites, and corrupt warlords have adjusted to the climate of lawlessness, avoiding taxes, selling expired food and drugs, sustaining anti-state forces, and commercializing so as to profit from areas that were traditionally in the public sector. Corrupt government officials tolerate illegal activities in return for bribes. These vulnerabilities have allowed al-Shabaab to infiltrate and plant moles in the security apparatus to obtain intelligence; consequently, corruption in Somalia has played a key role in fomenting and prolonging conflict. Dysfunctional institutions facilitate an environment of lawlessness, and the absence of any form of regulatory framework hinders the prospects for economic competitiveness, peace, and the establishment of the rule of law.

Efforts to tackle corruption in Somalia cannot be dissociated from other tasks fundamental to state-building, such as stabilizing a nationally recognized central authority; strengthening the rule of law and the judicial system; training more law enforcement officers; protecting fundamental human rights; professionalizing political and administrative institutions to safeguard them as much as possible from private and parochial interests; and building trust between the state and citizens. These are important means of preventing conflict as well as controlling and preventing corruption, and thus should serve as key points in the agenda for promoting peace and security in Somalia.



1  Transparency International, ‘Why Corruption Matters’ (Transparency International, undated) <http://www.transparency.org.uk/corruption/why-it-matters> accessed 10 July 2017.

2  P Mauro, ‘Corruption and Growth’ (1998) 110(3) The Quarterly Journal of Economics 681.

3  Transparency International (n 1).

4  CS Cheng and D Zaum, ‘Key Themes in Corruption and Peacebuilding’ (2008) 15(3) International Peacekeeping 301.

5  See CM Fombad, ‘Strengthening Constitutional Order and Upholding the Rule of Law in Central Africa: Reversing the Descent towards Symbolic Constitutionalism’ (2014) 14 Africa Human Rights Law Journal 2.

6  In 2013, Transparency International ranked Somalia in the Corruption Perceptions Index as the most corrupt state globally, a position the country has held for the last seven years. See Transparency International, ‘Corruption Perceptions Index 2016’ (Transparency International, 25 January 2017) <http://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2016> accessed 3 May 2017.

7  World Bank, Helping Countries Combat Corruption: The Role of the World Bank, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network (World Bank 1997) 19–20.

8  Roxanne Bauer, ‘Corruption in Fragile States: A Panel Discussion on the Intersection of Development, Conflict and Exploitation’ (People, Spaces, Deliberation, 21 December 2015) <https://bit.ly/2TstQxc> accessed 20 April 2017.

9  M Philip, ‘Peacebuilding and Corruption’ (2008) 15(3) International Peacekeeping 310.

10  ibid.

11  ibid.

12  The most corrupt countries at the bottom of the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index are fragile countries. See Transparency International (n 1).

13  R Looney, ‘Reconstruction and Peacebuilding under Extreme Adversity: The Problem of Pervasive Corruption in Iraq’ (2005) 15(3) International Peacekeeping 424; Philippe Le Billon, ‘Corrupting Peace? Peacebuilding and Post-Conflict Corruption’ (2008) 15(3) International Peacekeeping 344; Cheng and Zaum (n 4).

14  Ken Menkhaus, ‘State Collapse and Local Response in Somalia’ in Ingo Trauschweizer and Steven M Miner (eds), Failed States and Fragile Societies: A New World Disorder? (Ohio University Press 2014) 142.

15  Philippe Le Billon, ‘Buying Peace or Fuelling War: The Role of Corruption in Armed Conflict’ (2003) 15 Journal of International Development 413, 417–19.

16  ibid.

17  JC Scott, ‘Corruption, Machine Politics and Political Change’ (1969) American Political Science Review LXIII (4) 1142.

18  Samuel Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies (Yale University Press 1968).

19  ibid 64.

20  L Nathaniel, ‘Economic Development through Bureaucratic Corruption’ (1964) 8(3) American Behavioural Scientist 8.

21  L Colin, ‘What is the Problem about Corruption?’ in Arnold J Heidenheimer, Michael Johnson and T Victor (eds), Political Corruption: A Handbook (Transaction 1989).

22  P Bardhan, ‘Method in the Madness? A Political-Economy Analysis of the Ethnic Conflicts in Less-Developed Countries’ (1997) 25(9) World Development 1381.

23  Cheng and Zaum (n 4) 304.

24  Menkhaus (n 14).

25  Le Billon (n 15).

26  Cheng and Zaum (n 4)

27  Le Billon (n 15).

28  Le Billon (n 15).

29  For a comprehensive assessment of the impact of corruption on peace-building, see Philippe Le Billon, ‘Corruption, Reconstruction and Oil Governance in Iraq’ (2005) 26 Third World Quarterly 679.

30  M O’Donnell, ‘Post-Conflict Corruption: A Rule of Law Agenda?’ in A Hurwitz and R Huang (eds), Civil War and the Rule of Law: Security, Development, and Human Rights (Lynne Rienner 2007); R Rothberg (ed), Corruption, Global Security, and World Order (Brookings 2009).

31  Abdihakim Ainte, ‘Somalia: Another Paradigm Shift’ (Aljazeera Centre for Studies, 11 May 2017) <http://studies.aljazeera.net/en/reports/2017/05/somalia-paradigm-shift-170511053303806.html> accessed 1 August 2017.

32  J Giraldo, Post-Conflict Institution Building: Beating Corruption (Centre for Stabilization and Reconstruction Studies, Naval Postgraduate School 2006).

33  H Epstein, ‘Negotiating with Al-Shabaab Will Get America out of Somalia’ (The Atlantic, 16 October 2017) <http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/10/somalia-shabaab-kenya-uganda-amisom/543063/> accessed 4 July 2018.

34  ‘South Sudan President Rejects Rebel’s Declaration of His Illegitimacy’ (Sudan Tribune, 29 April 2015) <http://sudantribune.com/spip.php?article54775> accessed 1 August 2017.

35  ibid.

36  M Gallagher, Building Fiscal Infrastructure in Post-Conflict Societies (USAID 2007).

37  UN Security Council, ‘Report of the Panel of Experts on Somalia Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1475’ (UN document /2003/223, 25 March 2003) <https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/32CD4BC4199E4504C1256DF1003F50AC-unsc-som-04nov.pdf> accessed 5 July 18.

38  Kidnapping remains a lucrative business. According to Gross-Kettler, ‘[A] total number of 185 abductions were recorded between July 2002 and June 2003.’ See S Gross-Kettler, External Actors in Stateless Somalia: A War Economy and its Promoters (Bonn International Center for Conversion 2004) 13.

39  The International Crisis Group describes kidnapping, the levying of ‘transport taxes’, and the extortion of protection money as ‘growth industries’. See International Crisis Group, ‘Negotiating a Blue Print for Peace in Somalia’ (ICG, March 6, 2003) 10 <https://d2071andvip0wj.cloudfront.net/59-negotiating-a-blueprint-for-peace-in-somalia.pdf.> accessed 4 December 2018.

40  Giraldo (n 32).

41  International Crisis Group (n 39)).

42  R Woden, ‘The UAE Still Supports Al-Shabab through Somalia’s Illicit Charcoal Trade’ (The New Arab, 5 March 2018) <http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2018/3/5/uae-still-supports-al-shabaab-through-somalias-illicit-charcoal-trade> accessed 4 July 2018.

43  Epstein (n 33).

44  Stephen John Stedman, ‘Spoiler Problems in Peace Processes’ (1997) 22(2) International Security 5.

45  Bertram Spector, Fighting Corruption in Developing Countries: Strategies and Analysis (Kumarian Press 2005).

46  Menkhaus, K ‘State Collapse in Somalia: Second Thoughts’ (2015) 30(97) Journal of African Political Economy 419

47  Menkhaus, K ‘UK-Somali Links Raise Concern as UN Alleges Corruption and Arms Deals Governance Without Government in Somalia: Spoilers, Statebuidling and the Politics of Coping’ (2006) 31(3) International Security 74.

48  E Bolongaita, ‘Controlling Corruption in Post-Conflict Countries’ (2005) 26 University of Notre Dame, Kroc Institute Occasional Paper.

49  On the one hand, scholars such as Svensson, Hanlong, and Tangari and Mwenda support the view that international donor aid increases corruption; on the other, those such as Dalgaard and Olsson, Paul Collier, and Travers argue that it decreases it. See J Svensson, ‘Foreign Aid and Rent Seeking’ (2000) 51(2) Journal of International Economics 437; J Hanlon, How Northern Donors Promote Corruption: Tales from the New Mozambique (The Corner House 2004); R Tangri and A Mwenda, ‘Politics, Donors and the Ineffectiveness of Anticorruption Institutions in Uganda’ (2006) 44 Journal of Modern African Studies 101; Barnaby Willits-King and Paul Harvey, ‘Managing the Risks of Corruption in Humanitarian Relief Operations’ (2005) A Study for the UK Department for International Development by the Overseas Development Institute, Humanitarian Policy Group, 21–22; C-J Dalgaard and O Olsson, ‘Windfall Gains, Political Economy, and Economic Development’ (2006) 223 Working Papers in Economics: Department of Economics, Gothenburg University. Taveres presents empirical results for the effect of foreign aid on corruption, using the International Country Risk Guide indicator of corruption. See J Tavares, ‘Does Foreign Aid Corrupt?’ (2003) 79(1) Economics Letters 99.

50  Gatekeepers include warlords, rebels (al-shabaab), and elites. In most cases gatekeepers are armed and have more power than local administration or the humanitarian agency. See S Jaspers and D Maxwell, ‘Targeting in Complex Emergencies: Somalia Country Case Study’ (Feinstein International Centre, July 2018) <http://fic.tufts.edu/assets/Targeting-2008-Somalia.pdf> accessed 10 January 2019.

51  UN monitoring reports on Somalia and Eritrea; see also S Jason, ‘UN Report Cites Massive Corruption in Somalia Government’ The San Diego Union-Tribune (San Diego, 16 July 2012) <https://bit.ly/2SNbsiw> accessed 4 May 2018.

52  E Blair, ‘Somali Central Bank Governor Denies UN Charges over Funds’ Reuters (London, 2 July 2013) <https://reut.rs/2Vt0m46> accessed 10 September 2018.

53  The Somali problem can be traced back to the period of colonial, independent, and authoritarian rule. Civil war in the early 1990s set the scene for many of the ills that continue to plague Somalia. Pre-existing societal fault-lines ruptured during the civil war, and Somali society became deeply fractured along clan lines, with inter-clan violence continuing to this day along the contested borders. The early conflict was over power, resources, land, and ethnicity. However, the focus of the war has now changed to ideology, with al-Shabaab fighting to overthrow the fragile government. See A Samatar, ‘Destruction of State and Society in Somalia: Beyond the Tribal Convention’ (1992) 30(4) Journal of Modern African Studies 625; D Balthasar, ‘Somalia’s Federal Agenda: From Fragility to Fragmentation’ (European Union Institute for Security Studies, July 2014) <http://www.iss.europa.eu/sites/default/files/EUISSFiles/Brief_17_Somalia.pdf> accessed 20 June 2017. See also Centre for Research and Dialogue, Conflict Analysis: South Central Somalia (World Bank 2004).

54  M Kidist, The Role of Regional and International Organizations in Resolving the Somali Conflict: The Case of IGAD (Friedrich Ebert-Stiftung 2009).

55  B Moller, The Somali Conflict: The Role of External Actors (Danish Institute for International Studies 2009).

56  ‘Step-by-Step How Somali MPs Elected New President in a Fortified Airport’ (African News, 8 February 2017) <http://africannews.com/2017/02/08/somali-election-legislators-set-to-pick-new-president//> accessed 4 March 2017.

57  ibid.

58  B Bruton and P Williams, ‘Cut-Rate Counter-Terrorism: Why America Can No Longer Afford to Outsource the War on Al-Shabaab’ (Foreign Policy, 8 October 2013) https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/10/08/cut-rate-counterterrorism/> accessed 23 September 2019.

59  ibid. Remittances account for more than USD1.6 billion, with official development assistance of USD1.3 billion for 2015 and a gross domestic product of just USD6 billion.

60  The UN Monitoring Group reports that at least 33 per cent of the monthly port revenues cannot be accounted for. Similarly, according to a report in 2011 of the International Crisis Group, ‘[m]uch of the official corruption centres on the port of Mogadishu and Aden Adde International Airport’. UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, Report Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 2002 (UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea 2012) <http://www.marsecreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/UN_REPORT_2012.pdf> accessed 3 November 2018

61  Federal Republic of Somalia, Aid Flows in Somalia: Analysis of Aid Flow Data (April 2017) <http://so.one.un.org/content/dam/unct/somalia/docs/publications/Aid%20Flows%20Booklet%20FINAL.pdf > accessed 1 July 2017.

62  European Union, ‘International community strengthens support for the Somalia’s plans for Stability and development’ (European Commission, 17 July 2018) <http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-4483_en.htm> accessed 20 January 2019.

63  M Abdinasir and S Childress, ‘Telecom Firms Thrive in Somalia Despite War, Shattered Economy’ (The Wall Street Journal, 11 May 2010).

64  Institute for Economics & Peace, Global Terrorism Index 2017: Measuring and Understanding the Impact of Terrorism (Institute for Economics & Peace 2017) <http://visionofhumanity.org/app/uploads/2017/11/Global-Terrorism-Index-2017.pdf> accessed 24 November 2017.

65  H Maruf and D Joseph, Inside Al-Shabab: The Secret History of Al-Qaeda’s Most Powerful Ally (Indiana University Press, 2018).

66  Institute for Economics & Peace, Global Terrorism Index 2014: Measuring and Understanding the Impact of Terrorism (Institute for Economics & Peace 2014) 24 <http://economicsandpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Global-Terrorism-Index-Report-2014.pdf> accessed 24 November 2017.

67  ibid.

68  Ali H Warsame, ‘The Case of Re-Forming of Somali National Army’ (Wardheer News, 27 January 2016) <http://www.wardheernews.com/the-case-of-re-forming-of-somali-national-army> accessed 1 November 2017.

69  P Zachhia, H Bernard, and S Jeff, Somalia: Security and Justices Sector Public Expenditure Review (Washington DC, 2017).

70  AMISOM was first deployed in 2007 to support the Somali government and to fight against al-Shabaab; forces have grown from 1,600 Ugandan soldiers in Mogadishu, to 22,1226 millitary and police personnel from nine contributing nations; ibid.

71  ibid.

72  UK Department for International Development, DFID’s Anti-Corruption Strategy for Somalia (DFID 2013).

73  UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (n 60).

74  According to the UN, there is a contradiction in revenue reports. The Ministry of Finance reported revenues of USD72 million in the 2011 fiscal year, whereas the Accountant-General reported revenues of USD55 million for the same period. Public procurement in Somalia is a notable area of corruption, one in which the majority of public tenders are awarded to the friends of government officials.

75  The Monitoring Group’s investigations confirmed the involvement of senior TFG officials in the misappropriation of millions of dollars of domestic revenue and foreign aid. According to the World Bank Report of 2012, in 2009–2010, USD130 million of global aid to Somalia was stolen or went missing.

76  ‘Michael Keating Briefing on Somalia to UN Security Council’ (Radio Dalsan, 16 September 2018) <http://www.radiodalsan.com/en/2018/09/16/michael-keating-briefing-on-somalia-to-the-un-security/> accessed 17 September 2018.

77  ibid.

78  ‘Somalia: PM Suspends Deputy Minister over Fraud Claims’ (Garowe Online, 9 August 2018) <https://www.garoweonline.com/index.php/en/news/somalia/somalia-pm-suspends-deputy-minister-over-fraud-claims> accessed 1 September 2018.

79  Legacy Center for Peace and Transparency, ‘Overview of Corruption, Underlying Causes, and its Impacts in Somalia 2016’ (Legacy Center for Peace and Transparency 2016) <http://www.minnesotangos.org/sites/default/files/news/Research-on-Corruption-and-its-Impacts-in-Somalia.pdf> accessed 30 March 2017.

80  In 2012, for instance, parliamentary aspirants bribed clan elders with goods and cash amounting to about USD5,000.

81  Former President Hassan Sheikh is said to have paid millions of dollars to parliamentarians in 2012 to secure his election as president. Likewise, in the 2017 elections twenty-five presidential candidates reportedly paid huge amounts to parliamentarians. According to the BBC, ‘Bribes of between $1,000–$5,000 … have been paid.’ The BBC noted that that some candidates offered bribes of up to USD1.3 million to secure votes. Neighbouring countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya, as well as states such as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, are believed to have used money to influence presidential elections in the hope that their preferred aspirant would serve their geopolitical, security, business, and other interests. See TY McCormick, ‘Somalia’s Presidential Election for 14,000 People’ (Foreign Policy, 20 September 2016) <https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/09/20/allegations-of-abuse-corruption-cloud-election-in-somalia/> accessed 4 September 2018. See also ‘Somalia Election: Huge Corruption’ BBC (London, 25 November 2016) <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-38105023> accessed 28 July 2017; G Jefferey, ‘Fuelled by Bribes, Somalia’s Election Seen as Milestone of Corruption’ New York Times (New York, 7 February 2017) <http://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/world/africa/somalia-election-corruption.html> accessed 1 August 2017.

82  ‘Somalia Election: Huge Corruption’ (n 81). See also Jefferey (n 81).

83  A Warsameh, ‘Notebook’ (Global Integrity Report 2018) <https://www.globalintegrity.org/research/reports/global-integrity-report/global-integrity-report-2008/gir-notebook-2008-somalia/> accessed 21 January 2019.

84  Marqaati, ‘Somalia State of Accountability 2017/18’ (1 September 2018) <https://marqaati.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Somalia-2018-Corruption-Report.pdf> accessed 10 May 2018.

85  ibid.

86  K Menkhaus, ‘Governance Without Government in Somalia: Spoilers, State Building, and the Politics of Coping’ (2006) 31(3) International Secuirty 74–106.

87  UN Security Council, ‘Somalia Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea Submitted in Accordance with Resolution 2182’ (13 October 2014) < https://undocs.org/S/2014/726> accessed 5 July 2018.

88  Legacy Centre for Peace and Transparency (n 79).

89  UN Security Council (n 87).

90  ibid.

91  K Houreld, ‘US Suspends Aid to Somalia’s Battered Military over Graft’ (Reuters, 14 December 2017) <https://af.reuters.com/article/africaTech/idAFKBN1E81X8-OZATP> accessed 3 August 2017.

92  ‘UK-Somali Links Raise Concern as UN Alleges Corruption and Arms Deals’ The Guardian (London, 18 November 2014) <http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/nov/18/uk-somalia-corruption-arms-deals> accessed 3 August 2018.

93  Marqaati (n 84)

94  L Charbonneau and D Jorgic, ‘Exclusive: UN Monitors Allege “Conspiracy” to Divert Somalia Assets’ Reuters (16 July 2014) https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-somalia-corruption-un/exclusive-u-n-monitors-allege-conspiracy-to-divert-somali-assets-idUKKBN0FL07020140716> accessed 23 September 2019.

95  GAN Business Anti-Corruption Portal, ‘Somali Corruption Reports’ (GAN, undated) <http://www.business-anti-corruption.com/country-profiles/somalia> accessed 4 April 2017.

96  Maruf Hassan, ‘Somalia: Islamic Development Bank Freezes Somalia Project over Fraud’ (Garowe Online, 12 September 2018) <http://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalia-islamic-development-bank-freezes-somalia-project-over-fraud> accessed 17 September 2018.

97  ibid.

98  United Nations, Operational Risk Categories (United Nations Risk Management Unit Somalia 2013).

99  ibid.

100  The classes of elites include militia leaders, a few business communities, and a few clan elders, and foreign companies operating in Somalia. This group is the major beneficiary of war economies; they resisted peace-making as they had adapted to operate well under a state of chaos, misery, and pervasive state collapse. See RD Sharamo, ‘Predatory Politics and Struggles of Peace-making in Somalia’ (PhD dissertation, George Mason University 2012).

101  International Crisis Group, ‘Somalia: The Transitional Government on Life Support’ Africa Report (21 February 2011) https://d2071andvip0wj.cloudfront.net/170-somalia-the-transitional-government-on-life-support.pdf> accessed 23 September 2019.

102  ibid.

103  Sharamo (n 100).

104  IM Lewis, Blood and Bone. The Call for Kinship in Somali Society (Red Sea Press, 1994).

105  MV Höehne, ‘Political Representation in Somalia: Citizenship, Clannism and Territoriality’ in M Bradbury and S Healy (eds), Whose Peace Is It Anyway? Connecting Somali and International Peace-Making (Conciliation Resources, London, 2010) 34–37.

106  Somali Provisional Federal Constitution, arts 10–22.

107  Samuel Hall Consulting, A New Deal for Somalia’s Displaced? Exploring Opportunities of Engagement for Durable Solutions with the Somalia New Deal Compact (Samuel Hall Consulting 2014).

108  ibid.

109  Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act, 2015 <http://www.centralbank.gov.so/index_html_files/Anti-Money-Laundering-and-Countering-the-Financing-of-Terrorism-Act-2016-English-Version.pdf> accessed 10 December 2018.

110  ‘Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo Vows to Rebuild Somalia’ (Daily Nation, 9 February 2017) <http://www.nation.co.ke/news/africa/Somalia-s-new-president-vows-to-rebuild-failed-state/1066-3805768-8ih9b1/index.html> accessed 1 August 2017.

111  Ainte (n 31).

112  Core functions of the state include territorial control, safety and security; management of public resources; delivery of basic services; and supporting the ways in which the poorest people sustain themselves. See UK Department for International Development, Why We Need to Work More Effectively in Fragile States (DFID 2005) <http://www.jica.go.jp/cdstudy/library/pdf/20071101_11.pdf> accessed 4 May 2017

113  K Samuels, ‘Post-Conflict Peace-Building and Constitution-Making’ (2006) 6 Chicago Journal of International Law 1.

114  ibid.

115  P Lederacht, Building Peace (United States Institute of Peace 1997).

116  A Rothschild (ed), Ethnic Fears and Global Engagement: The International Spread of Ethnic Conflict (Princeton University Press 1998).

117  H Hannum, ‘Human Rights in Conflict Resolution: The Role of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in UN Peacekeeping and Peace-Building’ (2006) Human Rights Quarterly 1.

118  J Wilson, ‘Law and Order in an Emerging Democracy: Lessons from the Reconstruction of Kosovo’s Police and Justice Systems’ (2006) 605 Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 152.

119  R Rothstein, Fragile Peace and Its Aftermath. After the Peace: Resistance and Reconciliation (Lynne Rienner 1999).

120  See Andreas Schedler, Larry Diamond and Marc F Plattner (eds), The Self-Restraining State: Power and Accountability in New Democracies (Lynne Rienner 1999).