Mogadishu,28th January 2013
Somali Government officials have been arrested for mismanaging a scholarship scheme that sends Somali students to Turkey, Somalia’s Development and Social Services minister said Saturday, a sign that the fledgling government is committed to fighting the corruption that contributed to the country’s failed-state image.
Minister Maryan Qasim Ahmed said the officials were arrested for offering the scholarships to undeserving students. The arrested officials include the ministry’s former director general, who faced widespread accusations that he took bribes from prospective students.
Ranked as the world’s corrupt country by Transparency International, Somalia is now recovering from decades of war and anarchy. Somalia held elections last year following the success of Somali and African forces in ousting Islamist extremists from the capital, Mogadishu, a city that is now coming to life for the first time in 20 years.
In a clear sign of the country’s progress, the United States last week officially recognized Somalia’s government for the first time in two decades. The U.S. hadn’t recognized a Somali government since warlords toppled dictator General Mohamed Siad Barre in early 1991.