By Katrina Manson in Nairobi

The central bank governor of Somalia has unexpectedly resigned after seven weeks in the job, citing corruption concerns, in a blow to donors who have promised to pour billions of dollars of aid into the failed state.

Yussur Abrar, who was one of the world’s few female central bank governors, was unavailable for comment on Friday.


Donors who support her were frantically trying to reach her on Thursday night. They believe that she sent her resignation letter, dated October 30, from Dubai, before travelling to an unknown destination.

One donor official said Ms Yussur was “scared for her life and so unlikely to return to Somalia”.

In her letter to Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Somalia’s president, she said: “From the moment I was appointed, I have continuously been asked to sanction deals and violate my fiduciary responsibility to the Somali people as head of the nation’s monetary authority.”

In the strongly worded letter, seen by the Financial Times, Ms Yussur – a former banker at Citigroup who had not lived in Somalia for several decades – said she believed that these deals “put . . . frozen assets at risk and open the door to corruption”.

Somalia is recovering from decades of civil war and also faces an Islamist insurgency from al-Qaeda-linked jihadis who mount regular attacks on the capital and claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack on a Nairobi shopping mall last month.

Donors have pledged billions of dollars to help secure and rebuild Somalia at recent conferences in the hope that it can make good on recent military gains against the militants.

But they fear that the new government – elected last year and seen by analysts as the most representative and promising for years – might repeat the gross corruption seen by its donor-backed predecessors.

A report from a UN investigative panel this year gave warning that the central bank doubled as a corrupt slush fund and said that it failed to account for transfers worth $12m. Ms Yussur said in her letter: “Unfortunately, the central bank has not been allowed to function free of interference, and as such cannot operate as a credible institution.”

A government spokesman insisted on Friday that President Hassan remained committed to reforming institutions in his country. “All he wants is to ensure [that] public finance is managed properly and that there’s no corruption,” he said, adding that Ms Yussur was selected for her “impressive CV on finance”, but had visited Mogadishu for “only a couple of days”.

“For her leaving so early [it] is very sad. She was given the empowerment to reform the central bank and how the system works – most of the systems are manual,” he added.

In her letter, Ms Yussur also said she “vehemently refused to sanction the contract” with Shulman Rogers, a US law firm contracted to recover overseas assets frozen since before the civil war started in 1991. The same company was also hired to discredit the UN allegations of financial mismanagement ahead of a Brussels aid conference at which donors ultimately pledged $2.4bn, in what UN experts said was a conflict of interest. The law firm has previously denied any conflict of interest and said the UN experts made unfounded allegations.

Source:Financial Times



  1. What is going on at the Central Bank? The previous head was part of the corruption, she is talking about corruption. We really need to investigate thoroughly why this president's administration is so adept at being inept. Maybe the critics are right (to the consternation of supporters like me) that Hawiye can't govern.

    • Haye, hawiye iyo daarood maa bilowday? Sidee la idin yeelaa dhiiggiina ayaa qabyaaladda ku shaqeeya!

    • Mr/Miss Djibouti French boot camp you use to support MOYAAN Camp what happen, kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. go back to where you belong to ( FRENCH BOOT CAMP ).

  2. The world community can now see the true colors of the so called Somalia republic. Why in the world these so called world communities think that Somaliland people should live under the rules of a failed state that doesn't know what government is?
    Somaliland has made its final decision, never again will Somaliland be part of a failed state called Somalia.
    This decision was reached by 97% of its people, the world community can take it or leave it.

    • Speaking of corruption, Somaliland is the champ. Look at Hargeisa airport and genel proceeds loot of about 97% corruption overhead before 3% of actual work.

      • Show us , where it is written anywhere, any internet even those website who were known to by against Somaliland that, state Somaliland central bank governor resign due to corruption or the previous governor run away after stealing millions of dollar.
        Your quote is nothing but quotes from those who were well know anti-Somaliland thugs like you.
        Long live Somaliland and its people and government forever!
        AMIN !

  3. Bla bla bla, you people must be really thick with those automated responses whenever the tiniest bit of negative news from South Somalia is reported. It's alright, if it is any consolation, it's the exact responses I or anybody else for the matter probably expected from you. "The world can now see the true colors of Somalia", what does that even mean? It's Africa, corruption exists…I don't even want to start with Somaliland. Some of you commentators are vile and really filled with loathing you would probably state that God was punishing the "stupid southerners" if a Tsunami was to hit South Somalia. Nimanyahow sidan isku dhaama. Grow up and stop being so hateful. Admin, please don't delete this comment.

  4. Whether it is south region of somalia, puntland or somaliland, the fact that somalis are very corrupt individuals unfortunately. The reason goes back to the nature of the society structure within the somali people, there is nothing called equality, there is nothing called justice that is based on the country's constitution, it's all through tribalism, nepotism, corruption and embezzlements. So no wonder why you see someone who respects their principles, and respect the law, to be severely disliked and driven away by any means. Now, for those who are trying to make a comparason between the government in the south and somaliland, you are just making fool of yourselves. There is no a comparason between a recognised, fully supported system by the west and asia and somaliland that is only run by the isaaq community from sheffield.

    • Faqash ilyas somali live also in Djibouti and Kil5 and NFD. Somaliland is not Zoomalia the day u see Blue flag in Hargeisa that mean none Somalilander is still living there. We will gain our re independence as Eritrea gain from Ethiopia.

  5. She should take her share of this loot , and bring to Boorama. Because house her father build in Mogadishu is destroyed by Siad Barre's canoons.
    She was foolish because , why she protect a money stealed by the people who own that country, its president, prim minister and war lords. She is foreing from Somaliland.
    why don't she steal with them if they want so? And take her share to her homeland Borama, Somalilandd

  6. Siyads money is blood money, only way to deal with such money is to do something positive with it. give it to fund free healthcare for the poor and feed the hungry maybe then the curse on Somalia proper will be lifted. Looting it aint gonna solve sh yt