Limited US assistance for Somali military unit

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The United States is resuming some assistance to a unit of the Somali military not working directly with US forces officials said about 18 months after aid was suspended over widespread corruption concerns.

The assistance, part of US military aid to the country aimed at helping government fend off Islamist insurgents, was suspended in December 2017 after the Somali military was unable to account for food and fuel.

US and Somali investigators visiting bases found far fewer soldiers than reported. Many present were missing weapons, indicating they were not ready for active duty.

The resumption of assistance of units not working directly with US forces will be on a pilot basis according to a press release from the US embassy in Mogadishu.

“On the basis of internal reforms made by the Federal Government of Somalia and an inspection of the recipient unit, the United States assesses the Federal Government of Somalia and the SNA (Somali National Army) have undertaken significant efforts to improve accountability over donor resources,” the release said.

There were no further details on reforms or the amount offered. An embassy spokeswoman was not immediately able to offer further details.

The aid suspension did not affect other Somali military units, like the Special Forces group Danab trained by US forces.

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