By Edmund Blair

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Abdusalam Omer has been replaced as Somalia’s central bank governor after seven months in the job, he said on Thursday, once again strongly denying graft allegations made by United Nations monitors.

The allegations in a U.N. report linking him to irregularities regarding millions of dollars withdrawn from the bank have also been formally rejected by the Somali government.

The U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea said in July that Mogadishu’s central bank had become a “slush fund” for political leaders and that Omer had played a central role in irregularities surrounding unaccountable disbursements.

Omer, who has labeled the allegations malicious, said he was informed by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on September 13 that changes would be made at the bank. He submitted a letter of resignation the same day, he said.

Somalia has been struggling to rebuild its institutions and battered finances after two decades of conflict and chaos. Better management of public finances is seen by donors as vital to secure a recovery, debt relief and budget support.

Speaking in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, Omer told Reuters by phone he was given no reason for the decision.

But he said it “is a possibility” that the government decided to remove him as a result of the report, even though an international probe commissioned by Mogadishu had dismissed its findings.

“My thinking is this: that if you play by the rules and you assemble a team, both diaspora and local people, and try to reform a dormant and important institution called the central bank, I guess you have no place in Somalia,” Omer said.

He said he would return to Somalia next week to conduct a handover.

A Somali financial source and Somali media said Omer’s replacement was Yussur Abrar. One Somali report said Abrar, who has worked in commercial banking abroad, was the country’s first woman governor of the central bank.

Officials could not immediately confirm the new appointment.

In Omer’s letter of resignation, obtained by Reuters, the former governor listed his achievements, such as producing the bank’s first balance sheet for 22 years.

In the letter, he said he was resigning with “regret and disappointment” and had told staff to ensure a smooth handover.

The Mogadishu government had commissioned FTI Consulting and a U.S. law firm to investigate the U.N. monitoring report findings. FTI’s chairman for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region is British peer and former minister Mark Malloch-Brown, once a deputy secretary general of the United Nations.

Somalia’s recovery is being hampered by an ongoing Islamist insurgency, deep-seated clan loyalties that continue to govern the way politics and business is conducted and vested interests of powerful politicians.

Source: Reuters


  1. If these allegations by the United Nations are true, some sort of mechanism must be put in place to combat graft. What is with Africans and greed!

  2. This is the faith of every Somalilander , who tries to help the corrupt people in Somalia. They tarnish your name, chew your reputation and then spite you up in a Mogadishu toilet. Abdi-Salam is not the first Somalilander treated in that manner, but many others like Omer Arteh Galib, Jama Mohamed Galib, Mohamed Oomar, Prof. Ahmed Ismail Samater, Ismail Bubaa were all treated the same way and the same faith is awaiting Ms. Fosia Haji and all those who follow their foot-steps.

    I hope Dr. Abdi-salam will not leave them in peace, but will expose the mafia in Mogadishu's dark streets and tell the world the facts on the ground in Somalia Italiano.

    Abdi-Salam, an academician and former chief of staff of the mayor of Washington DC, the capital of the USA humbly accepted to help Somalia people and was rewarded with insult by people, who have no bride and self respect, they thrive on and make their living by stealing from the refugee women and children in Mogadishu. Dr. Abdi-Salam, did not know the dirty rules of the game in Mogadishu, but how could he? He was born and brought up in Somaliland, was educated and he worked in the USA.

  3. I know Dr. Abdulsalm Hadliya, Aand a cousin of mine. He is an Honrable man. He is the son of a fairly large prominant family. Yesterday was President Ahmed I. Samatar, Buubaa, Sifir and countless other honorable, respectful, and over-educated Somalianders were destroyed and put understand in a junkyard, graveyard called Muuqdisho. Their inept, incomptetent are acting an endless drama like the legendary " La Misrerata" the "Miserable" which is a hundred years old world drama are playing endless drama around the world. They are telling the world they are a government. they are no government. even Mogadishu grave yard in not in their hands. these corrupt warlords are criss-crossing the world, and looking for money. I wonder why a sane person of Dr. Haliya's calibre can go to a terrible place like Muuqdisho where he can become the victim of violence at any timeand not afraitsome prominant person like Abdulsalam

  4. I know Dr Abdi-Salam and he is an honourable man. What in the world was he thinking working for these gang members!!!!!!

    Take my word, the foreign minister Fozia Haji Adam is next on the chopping block.

  5. Corruption is the cancer that kills all Africans. It is as if African politicians believe that they cannot rule their countries, lead their people and live an elegant life without corruption. The problems is that we are as responsible for the evil we allow as for the the evil we commit. If myopia to rebel grips all Somalis, both the leader and the led, time and time again, whom would we see as our adversary?

    A man has a cause for regret only when he saws and no body reaps his fruits. This man will have not regret but has just learnt a lesson

  6. @Dhugtame
    What I understood from your point is that he is from Somaliland and does not embezzle, no Somalilander embezzles.

    Are having a laugh mate, Somaliland I riddled with corrupt officials, lets not play stupid. What happed with the Oil explorations, the dismantling of the SDA (Somaliland road Association) this new increase on animal export and vehicle imports to raise money for the new RDA to build roads.

    I could go on and a question are you in Somaliland or not?

    if not you have no idea what is going on in this Country day to day