Mogadishu, 24 Feb 2017 — Marqaati, Somalia’s sole anticorruption non-governmental organisation, is concerned by the nomination of Hassan Ali Kheyre as Somalia’s new Prime Minister. The nominated PM is a close associate of tainted individuals in the outgoing administration, including the former president who oversaw a massive corruption campaign in the past year.

He has also been accused of acting as a front for the former president in business deals such as in Soma Oil and Gas, and was intimately involved in the corrupt election campaign of the former president, according to sources in the outgoing administration.

We call on President Farmaajo to withdraw the nomination of Mr. Kheyre if the latter cannot prove his detachment from the corruption of the former administration and a commitment to hold them accountable.

“The Somali parliament should deeply scrutinise his past, his associates, and his plans for combating corruption. They should not accept to become stamps for whatever the president wants; they should use their powers to check his power and demand that people of integrity are appointed to positions of power,” said Mohamed Mubarak, director of marqaati.

“Parliament should reject to approve this individual if he does not prove that he had nothing to do with the corruption perpetrated by his associates and does not publicly commit to hold corrupt individuals accountable,” added Mubarak.

It is unacceptable to have a continuation of the status quo of impunity, stealing public funds, awarding contracts to political cronies, systematic judicial corruption, and unmerited government appointments. We see this nomination as a continuation of the status quo.

marqaati Press Release on PM

State of Accountability in Somalia in 2016: Unrestrained Corruption

Executive Summary

The year 2016 was the worst year for accountability in Somalia as political actors sought to use whatever means possible to win the indirect elections process. Civil servants and members of the Somali Police and NISA have been unpaid for 7 months; while salary payments for most units of the Somali National Army (SNA) were discontinued in late 2015; although, until mid-2016, some units continued receiving stipends that was not paid for by the Somali government. In addition to the non-payment of salaries, the Somali federal government sold off public lands, all with the intention of funding allies and loyalists to the ruling party in the indirect elections.

The elections, as a consequence, were rife with corruption. When delegates refused to take money and vote a certain away, they would be replaced, intimidated, harassed and, in some incidences that occurred in Galmudug and HirShabelle, shot. Adding insult to injury, candidates that had been disqualified for engaging in public corruption or violence by the conflict resolution body were reinstated, and others held sham elections and won.

As a result of the plundering of the state’s wealth in order to fund the election campaign of the president and his allies, security significantly worsened in 2016. Security forces take part in criminality in order to support their livelihood, further eroding public trust in the government. Extortion, robbery, murder, and torture are some of the more than 500 reports marqaati has received, mostly concerning the security forces.

As the election season comes to an end, the year 2017 will see less high-level corruption than 2016, no matter who wins. However, massive mid and low-level corruption will occur especially with the expected increase in food aid as a result of the drought. Officials and security officers that had not been paid for months will be expected to oversee the delivery of food aid. Unless they are paid their dues, even the best of them will take part in the loot.

While 2017 presents an opportunity to tackle corruption in Somalia, as most presidential candidates that have a good chance have said they will combat it, there needs to be more commitment by all stakeholders to demand transparency and closer monitoring of government activities by independent non-government third parties. Somalia’s international donors have a special responsibility to their taxpayers to demand accountability for their misused and embezzled aid monies.

Not keeping the rampant corruption in check will continue to erode public support for the government and lose it the little legitimacy it now has. Inaction will lead to insecurity that will affect not only Somalia, but the whole world, and also lead to mass migration of youth running away from a merciless terrorist group and a kleptocratic government . For the full report in PDF form, click here: Marqaati 2016 Corruption Report


The Indirect Elections: Highly Irregular and Barely Legitimate



The indirect electoral process has been undermined by multiple actors ranging from the federal and regional governments to the individual contenders. Bribery, intimidation, voter list manipulation, and outright fraud have affected the vast majority of cases studied.

Vote buying is not only a civic failure but a huge security loophole: it opens the door to exploits by criminal organisations to infiltrate nefarious individuals into a high profile position.

Dispute resolution mechanisms have largely not worked — and when they work, they have been undercut by political leaders who interfere and overrule their decisions, raising into question the independence and utility of the election organisers.

The process has shown that only universal suffrage can reduce the impact of vote buying in election outcome; however, the current system is still designed for vote buying as the president is not elected by the public but by the members of parliament.

Before general elections are held in 2020, the current constitution should be reviewed prior to ratification and make the president directly electable by the public.


For 11 months this year, marqaati has been signing Integrity Pacts with political actors across Somalia. The Pacts were signed by the following candidates for parliament: 6 from Somaliland; 9 from Galmudug; 20 from Southwest and 20 from Puntland. Additionally, 35 elders and 3 presidential candidates have signed, as have more than 30 political parties.

The Integrity Pacts that were signed by political parties and individual candidates were not respected, partly because the ruling party, PDP, and the president refused to sign it. It was clear that massive corruption would take place since then; marqaati is hereby doing its obligations under the Pact, which is to report on instances of lack of implementation of the Pact and give relevant advise in order to ensure that current issues don’t easily repeat again in 2020.


The findings presented here are based on interviews that were conducted with delegates, key informants within individual campaigns of candidates vying for a seat in parliament, candidates themselves, and questionnaires on the electoral process answered by more than 50 candidates and elders.

Furthermore, we’ve used statistical analysis to look at the relationship between complaints of irregularities and election win margins. While a narrow margin does not necessarily mean no corruption happened, this method helps us in pinpointing the intersection of complaints of fraud and abuse with unbelievably wide margins of victory. We have also used statistical analysis to determine the viability of election results.


The following is an outline of the types and some of the incidences of corruption that had taken place in the electoral process this year.

  1. Intimidation and obstruction was the hallmark of the process

Elders and candidates reported systematic intimidation by security forces of federal and regional states seeking to influence the makeup of the delegates. More than 75% of respondents said that they were expecting or had faced intimidation and voter fraud.

Intimidation of candidates and manipulation of the voters list were most common in Jubbaland, Southwest, and Somaliland (held in Mogadishu). This was apparently because candidates from those regions did not have the most money; for instance, individual voters were paid $500 by some winning candidates from these regions, compared to up to a ridiculous amount of $30,000 per vote in the most expensive election in HirShabelle.

In HirShabelle, some elections were held on a Friday without notifying all candidates except the favoured ones. Additionally, a candidate who had engaged in violence at the voting location was allowed to run over the objections of the Federal Indirect Election Implementation Team (FIEIT). He ‘won’ with 88% of the vote.

Some candidates were stopped from entering the voting venues, when their names were put up at the door and stopped from entering by the security forces. This was most common in Jubbaland and Southwest state. Conversely, amounts paid to buy seats in those regions were lower than in other regions.

In Jubbaland, a well-known politician who had lost an election to the upper house was elected to the lower house, after all opposing candidates were forced to withdraw or stopped from attending. He won with 98% of the vote.

  1. Individual candidates were involved in the selection of voters

Elders were required to appoint 50 voters (known as ‘delegates’) from their sub-clan to elect each MP; however, in almost all cases closely investigated, elders were selling the delegates to candidates vying for the seat.  In some instances, candidates bought the right to appoint a simple majority from the elders, and in other cases they bought all 50 delegates.

For instance, in one race in Puntland, an elder sold 16 slots to a candidate. The candidate went on to buy 10 other votes from the rest of the delegates and won with a simple majority of 26/51.

Some candidates were running against dummy candidates who were also paid for by them and who got between 7 and 0 votes.  The candidates who were doing this were ones who controlled a vast majority of the delegates, as explained above.

Regional governments were openly manipulating the lists of voters. For instance, one elder from Galmudug sent multiple complaints to marqaati of the delegates that he had submitted being switched with other names by the regional election commission; his complaints to the regional disputes resolution body were ignored.

  1. Bribery was very common and normalised

Bribe amounts were highest in HirShabelle where the most expensive seat was at $2.5M, followed by Galmudug and Puntland (seat cost is the sum of all bribes paid by both winning and losing candidates for one seat).

A winning candidate from HirShabelle told marqaati that he had paid $260K ($150K of his own money and $110K in borrowed money) as bribes in order to, ironically, ‘not humiliate’ himself by losing. He won with 86% of the vote. Losing candidates paid between $150K and $100K, making that seat worth $510K in bribes.

In Galmudug and Puntland, the same trend was noticed, with many seats costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Asked by marqaati why they would pay upwards of $300K for a seat in parliament, one political operative said it was to do with prestige, immunity, and obviously the chance to elect the next president and probably recoup spent money.

Voters seemed willing to vote for whoever gave them a dollar more than the other; in all cases where money is known to have changed hands, the party with the most money won. It is not clear whether this will be the case with MPs voting for president, but two recently-elected MPs said that they’d take money from everyone and vote for whoever they wanted.

Many candidates seeking a seat in parliament were bankrolled by the ruling party, PDP (also known as ‘Dam Jadeed’), which had refused to sign the Integrity Pacts. The aforementioned candidate who was forced to add $260K of his own money into his bribing campaign said that the president himself had assured him that he would be bankrolled but that he hadn’t received back his money as of the publishing of this report.

While state funds have been diverted in the past 18 months in preparation for the 2016 elections, as evidenced by security forces rarely receiving salaries in that time period and government property blindly privatised, the ruling party did not win many seats, suggesting that it has spent less money than its opponents (apparently saving most money for the presidential election).

Other MPs who had self-funded said that they are expecting to recoup their ‘investment’ in the upcoming presidential elections. Cost per vote, it will probably be the most expensive election in the world.

  1. Winning margins were incredibly high in races involving allegations of corruption

The following is a sample list of election results, showing an alarming number of candidates receiving more than 80%, and many 100% of the votes – a statistical impossibility in a free and fair election. Statistically, most races should have been won by a simple majority to two thirds majority, with very rare cases of 80 per cent and more.

Of 98 election results analysed, we have detected 89 elections in which the winners received 78.4% or above, including 58 that got between 84% and 98%; two were no contest (all opposing candidates suspiciously stepped down at the last moment); and 15 got 100% of the votes.

This suggests that over 76% of the candidates received unbelievably wide margins of victory between 84% and 100%.

While the below list is neither an exhaustive list of highly improbable natural results (it is a random sample that includes even plausible margins) nor an allegation that all are results of corruption. Our calculation is that 1% of results with a margin of more than 78% could be a natural outcome:



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
Abdiqadir Ossoble 34 66.6666667 Lower
Maxamed Abukar Islow (Ducaale) 48 94.1176471 Lower
C/salaan Sheekh Xasan Barsane 29 56.8627451 Lower
Cusmaan Maxamed Cabdi 50 98.0392157 Lower
C/laahi maxamed nuur 28 54.9019608 Lower
Maryan ahmed haruun 38 74.5098039 Lower
Maxamud c/laahi Ahmed 38 74.5098039 Lower
farxiyo maxamuud dhaqane 43 84.3137255 Lower
Maxaedm c/laahi nuux 45 88.2352941 Lower
Muuse Suudi Yalaxow 91 92.8571429 Upper
Prof Cusmaan Maxamuud Dufle 85 86.7346939 Upper
Cusmaan Axmed Macow 73 74.4897959 Upper
Cusmaan Maxamed Cabdi 50 98.0392157 Lower
Maxamed cali nuur 45 88.2352941 Lower
C/shakuur cali mire 49 96.0784314 Lower
farxiyo maxamuud dhaqane 43 84.3137255 Lower
Maxaedm c/laahi nuux 45 88.2352941 Lower



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
C/qaadir Gaafow Maxamuud 51 100 Lower
Yuusuf xeyle 48 94.11764706 Lower
Naciimo maxamed cali 45 88.23529412 Lower
Saciid Nuur Qayliye Giriish 50 98.03921569 Lower
Saabir Nuur Shuuriye 45 88.23529412 Lower
Mahad Maxamed Salaad 40 78.43137255 Lower
Qaasim Maxamed Jaamac 51 100 Lower
 Duniyo Maxamed Ali 44 86.2745098 Lower
mustaf sheekh cali dhuxulow 47 92.15686275 Lower
Xuseen Qaasim Yuusuf 49 96.07843137 Lower
 Xasan Macalin Maxamud 48 94.11764706 Lower
mustaf sheekh cali dhuxulow 47 92.15686275 Lower
Cabdulaahi Cali Axmed 40 78.43137255 Lower
 Maxamed Cabdule Faarax 40 78.43137255 Lower
Xersi Aadan Rooble 49 96.07843137 Lower
cabdiraxmaan maxamed xuseen 46 90.19607843 Lower
Maryan Cariif Qaasim 45 88.23529412 Lower
 Cabdiwali Maxamed Qanyare 49 96.07843137 Lower
Cabdicasiis Cilmi Cali 41 80.39215686 Lower
 Ikraan Aadan 43 84.31372549 Lower
Axmed Macalin Fiqi Axmed 47 92.15686275 Lower
Maryam Xaaji Cabdi Geedi 48 94.11764706 Lower
Maryam Maxamed Xuseen 48 94.11764706 Lower
maxamed axemd abtidoon 41 80.39215686 Lower



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
Cali yuusuf cali xoosh 49 96.07843137 Lower
Cumar Cabdirashiid Cali sharmaarke 47 71.21212121 Upper
Cabdiraxmaan Sheekh Maxamed Maxamud Farole 59 89.39393939 Upper
Cabdisalaam Xaaji Maxamuud Dheere 50 75.75757576 Upper
Maxamud Axmed Maxamud Mashruuc 56 84.84848485 Upper
Siciido Xasan Cismaan 41 62.12121212 Upper
Maxamed Cabdikaafi Maxamed 45 88.23529412 Lower
Xaawo Yuusuf Axmed 40 78.43137255 Lower
Sharmaake Garaad Saleeman 50 98.03921569 Lower
Sacdiya Samatar 49 96.07843137 Lower
Maxamed Xaaji Geele 49 96.07843137 Lower



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
maxamed shiid cusmaan jawaari 45 88.2352941 Lower
c/laahi shiiq ismaaciil 51 100 Lower
maxamed saciid Abdulaahi 40 78.4313725 Lower
C/laahi cumar Abshir 51 100 Lower
shiiq Aadan maxamed Nuur 49 96.0784314 Lower
sayid cali c/qaadir macalin 49 96.0784314 Lower
maxamed jaamac mursal geelle 45 88.2352941 Lower
Maxamed axmed mursal qoomaal 51 100 Lower
Aaadan ibraahim ibraahim dhaa yoow 51 100 Lower
Cali Aadan eylow 51 100 Lower
Shiiq shaacir axmed 51 100 Lower
Ibraahim yaroow isaaq 51 100 Lower
Raabaca sheekh nuuroow 51 100 Lower
Fowsiyo maxamed sheekh 51 100 Lower
cabduqaadir shariif xasan sheekh Aadan 50 98.0392157 Lower
Shariif maxamed cabdulaahi 45 88.2352941 Lower
Samra cumar ibraahim 45 88.2352941 Lower
Cabdi casis lafta gareen 45 88.2352941 Lower
Khaliif Duureey 45 88.2352941 Lower



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
Mahad Cabdalla cawad 50 98.0392157 Lower
Maxamed Cabdi Xayir Maareeye 51 100 Lower
Aamino Axmed 51 100 Lower
Cilmi Maxamed Nuur 45 88.2352941 Lower
Nimco Aadan Ciise No Contest Lower
Saalax Axmed Jaamac No Contest Lower
Sahro Cabdqadir Cabdinasir 48 94.1176471 Lower
Jamal Xasan Ismaciil 50 98.0392157 Lower
Faadumo Cali 49 96.0784314 Lower
Cabdulahi Cusmaan Ducaale 45 88.2352941 Lower




Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
Cabdulahi Maxamed Adan 44 86.2745098 Lower
Cabdiraxmaan Kulmiye Xirsi 48 94.1176471 Lower
Cabdiqaadir Sheekh Cali Ibraahim 50 98.0392157 Lower
Axmed Cismaan Ibraahim 49 96.0784314 Lower
Maxamed Cabdulahi Gaandi 50 98.0392157 Lower
Sheekh Nuur Maxamed Xasan 51 100 Lower
Cabdiqaadir Sheekh Cali 50 98.0392157 Lower
Axmed Cusmaan Ibraahim 49 96.0784314 Lower
Cabdiraxmaan Kulmiye Xirsi 48 94.1176471 Lower
Adan Isaaq 40 78.4313725 Lower



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
 Fahmo Axmed Nuur 51 100 Lower



  • Cases voided by the disputes body should not be allowed to be certified. That will make the process less legitimate than it already is.
  • Preparations for 2020 elections should start now. marqaati will start its advocacy towards a free and fair general election the moment this process ends. Otherwise, talk of elections will be delayed until a time when leaders can say ‘there isn’t enough time’ to organise a general election as happened last year.
  • The parliamentary system will ensure that corruption will become a culture in Somali politics and that presidential hopefuls will continue to buy the members of parliament. marqaati proposes that the Somali constitution be amended prior to its ratification and ensure that the public can directly vote for all their political leaders.
  • Somali CSOs should be courageous and participate in the monitoring and critique of the elections. Silence equals acquiescence.
  • Spoilers and political leaders continuing to obstruct the little accountability that has taken place should be sanctioned by the international community.


Political failures at multiple levels have compounded to delay and undermine the indirect election process. In order to regain a semblance of legitimacy, there should be accountability for the abuses that have occurred.




As Somalia prepares to hold indirect elections yet again this year, the uncertainty of the process has fed into the general sense of despair and has the potential to push the country back into chaos if care is not taken to involve all relevant political and social actors, in order to give the process the legitimacy it deserves.

This election brief is based on interviews with individuals involved in the process and with deep knowledge of the behind-the-scenes discussions.

National leaders have repeatedly affirmed that the elections will be held on time – including in official communiques. With the term of the Somali Parliament ending in three weeks, and the president’s in six weeks, Marqaati is concerned that there is little to show in terms of progress in ensuring that a timely transfer of power will take place.

Emerging electoral fraud trends

Marqaati has been closely watching the electoral process with concern, noting a dangerous familiar path of corruption being taken by those in positions of power and seeking to keep their positions.

Political parties have voiced concern to marqaati that the National Leaders Forum, without any constitutional basis, has usurped power and continues to act as a de facto junta that rules by decree. While this may be seen as a convenient method to expedite the process, political parties are concerned that it will be a destabilizing factor beyond the elections and continue to undermine the constitution.

Some clans are claiming that the government has replaced some of the 135 elders representing the clans with political appointees that do not represent them. Marqaati has documented at least two clans whose real elders have been replaced by other individuals.

Furthermore, there is no level playing field in terms of political space: political parties have been virtually denied the freedom to hold any kind of assemblies under flimsy security excuses, political meetings disrupted, political messaging stifled, and democracy campaigners – including marqaati – have been intimidated, harassed, or imprisoned.

The civil society has been particularly sidelined in the process, and any calls for reform or accountability in general, especially electoral accountability, is seen as a threat by the ruling party. This has led to a sense of fear to speak out in this election period among local CSOs, marqaati hereby takes the lead in speaking out.

Old model or delayed elections

Members of the NLF will be briefed by the electoral commission on a viable timetable; while the commission privately maintains that there will be timely elections on the agreed model (51 individuals selecting each MP), political parties are complaining that there is talks of reverting to the old model in order to save time, or extend the timetable in order to implement the new model.

Extending the election date will cause a backlash from among the political parties who have already started declaring that the president will have no authority after the 10th of September. This option has the most potential to cause constitutional crisis and hurt Somalia’s fledgling state legitimacy.

The second option of reverting to the old, simpler model, has the most risks for corruption; there are fears that as in in 2012, when there was widespread buying of parliamentary seats, this could be the case again this year.

Reverting to the old, clearly more corrupt model will surely mean that the past four years have been fully squandered. There hasn’t been any improvement in the electoral model. Giving the 135 elders the power to appoint the MPs will be a return to outright buying of parliamentary seats as had happened in 2012 and hurt the legitimacy of the process.

Within the darkness there is a sliver of hope: twenty-three Somali political parties have signed the Integrity Pact for free and fair elections in Somalia. This is encouraging and shows a willingness by political parties to experiment with honest means to seek political power; however, we are disappointed and concerned by the outright refusal to sign the Pact by some of the political parties, chief among them the ruling party.

Necessary steps

Representatives of the Somali public – the elders, political parties, and civil society – should be given a role in shaping both the electoral model and the timetable for holding the elections. An inclusive process will guarantee that there is legitiamcy for the process itself.

The international community – the US, UK, UN, EU, and AU – should hold the members of the NLF to account on holding free and fair elections. The elections will not be considered fair if non-NLF members are denied the opportunity to organize themselves , which is a basic constitutional right. NLF members who try to use their authority to derail the process in their favor should be sanctioned in order to protect the integrity of the process.

There should be a clear timetable with a sense of urgency and based on input from the aforementioned representatives of the Somali public, in order to ensure that the process in not open-ended and meets the set deadlines.

marqaati Signs Integrity Pacts With Somalia’s Political Parties


The Integrity Pact for free, fair, and democratic elections in Somalia is an initiative by marqaati to combat electoral corruption in Somalia, build trust among the political parties, and ensure that future elections are more legitimate and freer.

Although Somalia’s political parties have had a rough time getting the current government to pass a law recognising political parties, political parties do exist and openly take part in the political process.

Most of the current MPs are members of a political party, despite the fact that political parties are yet to be officially recognised by the government. In the past, parties have funded MPs to buy parliamentary seats from their clan elders. This Pact commits political parties to refrain from buying votes for their members and report any vote-buying that they encounter.

The implementation of the Pact will ensure that Political parties provide their sources of income, the money spent in the campaign, and their political agents. In return, marqaati will provide them anticorruption training, and help them in sensitising the public and the few voters in the 2016 election about the negative impact of vote selling.

Signatory Parties

On January 28, marqaati held an event to start the campaign to have political parties sign the Pacts. On the same day, 14 political parties signed the pact and 2 declined. From January 28 to February 22, we signed Integrity Pacts with 11 more political parties. Five political parties are currently reviewing the Pact and considering signing it.

On February 23, three more parties signed, bringing the total to 28 political parties that have signed the Pact. Two more parties signed on 28 February and 31 May, respectively.

This part will be updated whenever new signatories are available.

Below is the list of political parties that have signed the Pact and the persons who signed for them. That is followed by the signed pages of the Integrity Pacts.

NO Name of representative Political party
1 Muxyadiin Maxamed  Xaaji Kulan
2 Dr. Cali Cumar Abati Somali National Union
3 Axmed Yuusuf Ibrahim ILEYS
4 Ugaas Cabdullahi National Democratic Party
5 Maxamuud Axmed Nuur Social Justice Party
6 Yuusuf Axmed Yalaxow SDU
7 Dr. Yuusuf Shimbir Midnimada Qaranka Soomaliyeed
8 Xassan Cabdi Khalif Shaqsiyad iyo Wadaniyad
9 Salaad Cali Jeele Midnimada iyo Dimoquraadiyadda
10 Said Cusman Ibraahim Peace  and National Unity
11 Cabdullahi Isaaq Aadan Somali National Democratic
12 Cali Maxamed Nuur Midnimada Jamhuuriga Soomaliya
13 Suleyman Yuusuf Cilmi Horumarinta Ummadda Soomaaliyeed
14 Faarax Salaad Dharaar Somali National Party
15 Salaad Maxamed Sabriye Wadaniyiinta Soomaliyeed
16 Caydarus  Maxamed Cabdi United Somali Roots (USR)
17 Nadifo Abdullahi Abdi Justice and Development Party
18 Maxamuud Maxamed Daahir Isbahaaysiga Isbadal Doonka Soomaliyeed
19 Safiyo Maxamed Cali Somali Peoples Party
20 Caasho Maxamuud Warsame Samokaab
21 Abdullahi Sheikh Dahir Midowga Nabada iyo Demoqoraadiyada
22 Wali Magan Diriye Democratic Party of Somalia
23 C/qaadir Sheikh ISmail Tayo
24 Dr. Mohamed Ali Ibrahim Somali National Party for Change and Development
25 Said J. Ali Korshel Somali National Party
26 Dr. Zakaria Mohamed Haji Abdi Qaranka Ummadda
27 Eng. Ahmed Salad Adan Sahan Qaran
28 Kamaudin Abdullahi Mohamud S.P.P
29 Mohamed Abiikar Maye Somali Citizens’ Alliance
30 Ahmed Barre Midnimo

Here is the Pact in English: Integrity_Pact_En

Muhyadin Mohamed, one of the signatories, was killed two weeks after signing the Pact. We send his family and friends our deepest condolences.
First Page



Justice and Development Party

Kulan Party

Midowga Nabadda iyo Dimoqraadiyadda


Peace and National Unity

Shaqsiyad iyo Wadaniyad

Social Justic Party

Somali Democratic United

Somali National Democratic Party

Somali National Party for Change and Development

Somali National Party

Somali National Union Party

Somali People Party


United Somali Party


Xisbiga Horumarinta Umadda Soomaaliyeed

Xisbiga Isbaheysiga Isbadaldoonka Soomaaliyeed

Xisbiga Midnimada iyo Dimoqraadiyada

Xisbiga Midnimada Jamhuuriyada Soomaaliyeed

Xisbiga Midnimada Qaranka Soomaaliya

Xisbiga Somakaab

Xisbiga Wadaniyiinta Soomaaliyeed


Xisbiga Sahan Qaran

Xisbiga Qaranka Ummadda


In Pictures: Public Land Illegally Sold in Mogadishu

Since the end of the transition period in 2012, land prices started to rise to as much as ten-fold compared to the previous year in parts of Mogadishu. This in turn led to private investors buying up public land with the help of their friends in government.

Today as we mark the International Anti-Corruption Day, let us take a look at the effects of corruption in  Mogadishu where almost all the public gardens have opaquely  been turned into petrol stations or restaurants.

This petrol station is on public land. It was apparently sold by the former Banadir administration, with Federal Government support.

This petrol station in KM4 is on public land.

This petrol station is built on public property that was used as a public garden.

This petrol station in Hawlwadaag is built on public property that was used as a public garden.

The Bondhere district part of the 4 gardens illegally sold to local businessmen.

The Bondhere district part of the  gardens illegally sold to local businessmen.


The second garden of Yaqshid one year ago when it was sold to a local businessman.

The second garden of Yaqshid one year ago when it was sold to a local businessman.

After stopping work on the site earlier in the year due to opposition from the new Banadir administration, work has resumed on the site without intervention from authorities.

After stopping work on the site earlier in the year due to opposition from the new Banadir administration, work has resumed on the site without intervention from authorities.

A truck gets into the Yaqshid garden where it is  taking out the earth.

A truck gets into the Yaqshid garden where work is ongoing to turn it into a petrol station.


This site used to be a state-owned petrol station. There is no transparency about who, how, and why it was sold to a private company.

This site used to be a state-owned petrol station. There is no transparency about how and why it was sold to a private company.


This site in Sinai used to be a state-owned petrol station. It is now being privately-owned.

This site in Sinai used to be a state-owned petrol station. Private investors are now developing it.


This is the Florensa, aka Hararyale, public land illegally sold to private fuel company.

This is the Florensa, aka Hararyale, public garden illegally sold to Hass Petroleum.


Judicial Corruption in Somalia


While being the most important institution for accountability in the country, and one many Somalis yearn for to deliver and entrench stability, the judiciary has undergone minimal, cosmetic reforms during and after the transition. Following widespread allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the judiciary, marqaati decided to study this vital government arm to understand the status quo, and use the findings to advocate for further judicial reforms.

The findings reveal a weak institution whose independence is seldom respected by other arms of government.


To assess the extent of judicial corruption, we used the Diagnostic Checklist for Assessing Judicial Corruption, which is found in Transparency International’s Combating Corruption in Judicial Systems advocacy toolkit. We reviewed relevant documents such as the Provisional Somali Constitution, judicial conduct rules, and recent court rulings. Furthermore, we interviewed judicial workers and 30 court users in Mogadishu between Feb-Apr 2014 and Jul-Sept 2014.


The major limitation was inadequate funding for the interviews section of the study. This was wholly funded by marqaati internal donations.

Another constraint was the security situation, which led a multitude of court users to decline interview.


  1. Judicial independence is enshrined in the Somali constitution; however, it is hardly the case in practice.
  2. Judges and other judicial officers have poor working conditions, making them susceptible to bribery and threats.
  3. Appointment of judges is not transparent, resulting in unqualified or incompetent individuals sitting as judges.
  4. Poor administrative process to ensure judges are selected in an objective manner and placed in court locations where they don’t have ties to politicians.
  5. No known auditing of the judiciary.
  6. The judiciary doesn’t publish its annual budget or expenses.
  7. Judges are liable to prosecution for misconduct, but despite widespread allegations of misconduct this has not been done before or after 2012 when the government came out of transition.
  8. There is little transparency in the judiciary, with no information on judicial selections procedures and judicial recruitment.
  9. Education within the judiciary is very poor, with many judicial officers having no formal education in their line of work.
  10. There are no security guarantees for members of the judiciary except for a handful at the Supreme Court. Judges and lawyers being threatened or even being killed as a result.
  11. Civilian courts refuse to take terrorism-related cases for fear of retribution.
  12. The police and other law enforcement agencies selectively respect court orders; in some cases court orders are ignored.
  13. Paying bribery to judges in civil cases has become a matter of course, resulting in some instances the same judge making conflicting judgements in the same case.
  14. The judiciary is involved in a power struggle with the executive, resisting much-needed reforms to the flawed judicial system and the judicial council.
  15. The executive selectively enforces judicial decisions; it also sometimes interferes in the judicial process.
  16. The executive removes judges from office without following the proper judicial procedure; 21 judges were recently removed from office by the President – a move rejected as unlawful by the Chief Justice.
  17. The Attorney General is not recognised by the Chief Justice, who regards the former as having being illegally installed into office.
  18. Lawyers are involved in bribing judges.
  19. None of the litigants and defendants interviewed respects the courts as legitimate; they all cite injustice and corruption as the reason they disregard the courts.
  20. Somali journalists do not report on judicial corruption as much as corruption in other arms of government.
  21. There is little interest in the Somali civil society in addressing judicial corruption. As such there is less public debate about judicial corruption than corruption in the executive and legislature.
  22. There is little support from the international community to reform the judiciary in Somalia.


  1. The court structure must be completed, including the establishment of the constitutional court.
  2. Judicial independence must be respected by other branches of government; by law, judicial independence is guaranteed but not respected by the executive.
  3. Judicial decisions must be enforced without selection by law enforcement agencies.
  4. Judicial appointments must be transparent and merit-based.
  5. Judges should receive continuous training in legal analysis, judgement writing, case management, and anti-corruption.
  6. Working conditions for judges and other judicial officers must be improved, including improvement in pay and security.
  7. The judiciary appointment body must be made independent of the executive and the legislature.
  8. Qualified judges should have security of tenure.
  9. Removal of judges should be done according to a fair and transparent process.
  10. A confidential whistleblower procedure should be created to enable the reporting of suspected or actual breaches of conduct or corruption by judges, court administrators and lawyers.
  11. Judges should make periodic asset disclosures.
  12. Judges with conflicts of interest must disqualify themselves or be disqualified by the Judicial Service Commission as soon as it becomes apparent.
  13. The Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct must be implemented to bring the Somali justice system up to international standards.
  14. The judiciary must publish annual reports of its activities and spending.
  15. Civil society organisations should be more involved in monitoring of the judiciary for incidences of corruption.
  16. Somali academics should comment on court judgements in the media, to help the general public understand the work of the courts


Government Arms Openly Sold

In recent months, the security situation in Mogadishu and southern Somalia has worsened for a multitude of reasons. One factor contributing to this security breakdown is the free flow of arms in the areas of Somalia which is controlled by the federal government in Mogadishu.

To investigate this matter further, marqaati carried out a 3-week observation of Mogadishu’s most open arms market.

This arms market is located along the street behind Safari Hotel, near KM5 in Mogadishu. There are other places in Mogadishu where one can buy a weapon from; marqaati chose to observe this market because it was the most accessible one.

Below is a map of where the arms market is located:

View Mogadishu Arms Market in a larger map

Below are some images marqaati volunteers took from the arms market:


This roadblock conveniently blocks most traffic from using the arms street

This roadblock conveniently blocks most traffic from using the arms street

Arms dealers openly exchanging a TT pistol

Arms dealers openly exchanging a TT pistol


Arms dealers trading an AK-47 inside a shop

Arms dealers trading an AK-47 inside a shop

Army officer discussing ammunition sells with known arm trader

Army officer discussing ammunition sells with known arm trader


A soldier with two AK-47s. This is not around the Safari Hotel arms market.

A soldier with two AK-47s. This is not around the Safari Hotel arms market.


The arms traders sit on the side of the road waiting for customers

The arms traders sit on the side of the road waiting for customers




marqaati volunteers watched the open gun market from 5 to 27 February 2014, alternating between volunteers and times of visits. Below is what we found:

  • Men in uniform sell arms to arms dealers; arms dealers in turn sell to each other and to civilians. The exchange of arms mostly takes place on the street, but sometimes in shops selling other goods.
  • Guns and ammo change hands without little attempt to hide the trade, which indicates breakdown of law and order in the heart of the capital and confidence on the part of traders that the government will not prosecute them.
  • Arms dealers and soldiers selling arms sometimes continue their trade inside shops on the arms market street, which may be where the actual payments take place.
  • Arms dealers have been seen keeping their weapons with security guards guarding businesses in the area.
  • The most common weapon openly sold is the AK-47 and its ammunition, and the TT pistol and its ammunition.


To fight this problem, marqaati recommends the following:

  1. The Somali government should investigate the existing black arms market in KM5.
  2. Somali government should keep track of its arms stockpile, and do regular inspection to make sure that none of the arms are being diverted.
  3. The promise to confiscate weapons in the hands of civilians or people in civilian clothing should made into a law and be enforced.

Corruption Risk Assessment of the Ministry of Interior and National Security


Corruption – the abuse of entrusted power for private gain – is widely perceived to exist in Somalia where the UN has repeatedly reported on embezzlement of a grand scale.

To identify the root of the problem in Somalia’s federal government, marqaati has taken the initiative and carried out a corruption risk assessment of the federal government’s Ministry of Interior and National Security (MINS).

MINS was selected because it is in charge of the most important government bodies such as the police, internal security, and the directorate of immigration and naturalisation. It is therefore one of the largest ministries and identifying and combating corruption risk factors here is vital to the average citizen.

The aim of this study is twofold: first, to identify the processes and departments within MINS prone to corruption, and second, based upon that information, to design in the future projects to combat corruption within MINS and other ministries.


We adopted a risk assessment methodology developed by Project Against Corruption in Albania (PACA) in 2010 to suit the security limitations within which marqaati conducts its research.

Key ministry informants working in two different departments of the ministry and two other people who interact with the ministry regularly and whose role in the ministry can not be cited for security reasons because it could be used to identify them were selected for a panel discussion. During the discussion, a questionnaire consisting of 75 questions were asked by marqaati (see Appendix 1).  The panel discussed each question and from their discussion, a consensus was reached for each answer; all answers unknown to them are clearly indicated.

Of the 75 questions, 12 were unknown to them and 10 were not applicable, and are clearly marked as such. Therefore 53 questions were answered which gave a picture of the risks and incidences of corruption in MINS.

The relevant questions were answered which concerned the existence or lack thereof of anti-corruption policies, transparency, and accountability in MINS.

After risk factors were identified using the questionnaire, marqaati investigated specific cases of corruption. To this end, government financial records were analysed for impropriety (Appendix 2). Furthermore, additional key informants in another department were interviewed for verification purposes.


Verification of data was extremely difficult due to sources hesitating to confirm information out of fear of reprisals. Due to lack of confirmation, we have removed from this report many potential incidences of corruption. We shall however investigate them further in the future.

While some incidences may not be reported here, the list of risk factors identified is quite significant and warrants urgent action.

Corruption risk factors identified in MINS

  1. MINS does not have rules and regulations to deal with cases of potential corruption:
  1. No anti-corruption department
  2. No procedures to report internal cases of corruption
  3. No procedures for the public to report misconduct by ministry staff
  1. The existent internal inspection department, according to ministry staff, exists in name only and no inspections are actually taking place.
  2. Allegations by ministry staff of top ministry officials using ministry funds at personal discretion.
  3. The ministry shares very little information with the public, clouding its activities in secrecy. This makes risks of corruption high as few people know what is going on inside the ministry.
  4. Many of the staff are not aware of their job descriptions and have been appointed because they “know somebody” in top position.
  5. There is no complaints division to receive and deal with potentially significant numbers of public complaints given its exposure.
  6. The former Shabab rehabilitation programme and the Directorate of Immigration and Naturalisation (DIN) were identified as being the most vulnerable to corruption by ministry staff because of alleged funds misappropriation.
  7. Procurement procedures in the ministry do not involve open tenders.
  8. There are no known guidelines followed in hiring ministry staff.
  9. Officials are not required to declare their wealth before or after taking office.
  10. Financial records of MINS are kept a secret.
  11. No known existent code of conduct / ethics guide for ministerial staff.
  12. Inadequate training of staff; high frustration amongst staff due to alleged lack of appreciation by more senior officials.

Incidences of corruption in MINS

  1. There are no guidelines followed in hiring ministry staff . There appears to be a systematic abuse of this fact, which has led to the appointment of individuals with no experience or qualifications to important positions in the ministry. For instance, according to the key informants interviewed the minister’s cousin, Awil Wehliye has been appointed as a liaison officer to the UN and wields influence in the ministry due to his cousin being the minister. Likewise, directorship of key ministry departments have been given to friends of the minister such as Hussein Abdi Aden who is the director general of MINS and used to be a school teacher and old friend of the minister. Please contact us for a longer list of appointees with close relationship to the minister.
  2. Head of finances in MINS had withdrawn 23,500 US dollars from the central bank in one month of this year. This is not part of a 593,000 US dollars deposited in the MINS account by the central bank that month. The 23,500 USD withdrawn is confirmed by the key ministry informants to be for petty expenses which are released under the discretion the ministry’s head of finances.
  3. Upon preliminary investigation by marqaati of bank records, it was established that the Directorate of Immigration and Naturalisation within MINS was withdrawing money from the central bank and not depositing any, despite it making money from passport issuance. This indicates that the informants’ allegations of susceptibility to corruption are likely to be factual.


Risk of corruption at MINS is very high given the lack of transparency, financial discretion of top officials, and lack of an anti-corruption policy. Therefore, marqaati suggests the following:

  • Creation and empowerment of the independent anti-corruption commission stipulated in Article 111C of the provisional Somali constitution.
  • Creation of a working anti-corruption department in MINS and other ministries.
  • Giving ministry staff anti-corruption and ethics training to help deter corrupt practices.
  • Financial audits should be done across all ministries and their results made public. The Federal Parliament should pass a law mandating this.
  • Application of Article 32 of the provisional Somali constitution that stipulates that every person has a right to access information held by state. Furthermore, the Federal Parliament should amend and further clarify that article to strengthen transparency as stipulated in Schedule One (C) of the constitution.
  • Federal Parliament should pass a law mandating that officials taking office should disclose their financial status before and after leaving office.
  • All ministerial budgets, incomes, and expenditure data should be published online for present and future analysis.

We call on all concerned parties to work with us in making the above reforms to lower the risks of corruption in MINS and across the government.



Appendix 1

A. Organisational role


1. What are the core functions of the organisation (e.g. ministry, sub-unit within

ministry)? Ministry



2. Does the ministry have a ‘mission statement’ or similar description of its

function/role? Are staff aware of these? Do staff consider them accurate and

appropriate? Staff unaware of mission statement but say they have an idea of what their ministry is supposed to do.



3. Do the major sub-units of the ministry have ‘mission statements’ or a

clear definition of their function/role? Are staff aware of these? Do staff

consider them accurate and appropriate? Same as above.



4. Do all staff of the ministry have a clear job description/terms of reference

and are staff aware of this? No



B. Budget

5. What is the size of the ministry’s budget? Unknown


6. What is the rough breakdown of spending between salaries, investment,

purchases of goods and services and other types of spending? Unknown


7. What is the average size of a purchase/investment made by the ministry:

are there a significant number of very large purchases/investments in an

average year (or last year)? Unknown


8. What percentage of purchases/investment made by the ministry are put

out to open tender? None


9. How technically complex are the spending decisions made by the

ministry? Who takes the more complex decisions and on what basis? Financial decisions are made by the minister, the General Director, and the head of finance in the ministry. The minister sends people asking for money to the latter.



10. Are spending decisions on major items highly centralised (e.g. requiring the

signature of one senior official) or highly decentralised? Centralised



11. Are spending decisions on minor items highly centralised (e.g. requiring the

signature of one senior official) or highly decentralised? Decentralised



12. Does the organization receive income from the public, or designated clients

(taxation, customs levies, payments for services or rents etc.)  What is the

process for recording, banking and auditing these payments? In what form

are such payments received? The ministry receives payments from the public via the Directorate of Immigration and Naturalisation which issues passports. Payments are deposited into the Directorate’s bank account in Dahabshiil. This money is understand to be sizeable, and none of it has been found to be deposited into the central bank.

C. Human resources management

13. How many staff does the ministry employ? Unknown



14. How many of these are employed centrally (e.g. in a ministry), and how

many indirectly (e.g. public servants such as teachers)? Unknown


15. What percentage of the following categories (or equivalent categories) of your

staff have the status of civil servant, what proportion are currently within the

one-year probation period, and what percentage are employed on short-term


a. Secretary-General


b. Directors of departments or directors general


c. Directors of directorates or sector/office chiefs


d. Specialists




16. Is there any monitoring and statistics to show the rate of staff turnover within

the ministry. If so, what are the is turnover regarded by the ministry

as high, low, or about right? Yes; there is a high turnover of staff in the ministry.


17. Are there any internal recruitment guidelines in addition to the provisions of

the Law on Status of a Civil Servant? No


18. In what percentage of recruitments is the selection decision of the relevant

superior contrary to the recommendation of the ad hoc recruitment

committee, i.e. selects a candidate that was not one of those recommended? No such committee


19. Do recruitment procedures for staff in positions that might be regarded as

high-risk from a corruption point of view include criteria to attempt to ensure

the integrity of those appointed? No


20. Are applicants for staff positions questioned/screened to ensure they do not

engage in external activities or hold external interests that may conflict with

or impair the proper performance of their official duties? No


21. Do staff have a clear understanding of what situations constitute conflicts of

interest? No


22. Do new staff go through any induction process such as initial training? No


23. If so, does such training cover integrity issues? Is this repeated perhaps in

more specific ways on promotion or when staff move to new roles? N/A



24. Do staff regard their training as adequate to manage the situations that they

face? No


25. Who is designated as the person to whom staff should turn for advice. In

cases of uncertainty would they seek advice from other colleagues on an

informal basis before turning to their line manager, or seek advice elsewhere? Staff unaware of any such person.


26. Do staff feel that their salaries are adequate, just sufficient or insufficient to

ensure a reasonable standard of living? Just sufficient


27. To what extent do staff feel valued by (i) the organisation, ii) their direct

superior, in their role? They don’t feel valued by the ministry and their direct superiors.


D. Procedures and decision-making processes


28. Does the organisation do any of the following?

a. Issue or provide items such as licenses, permits, permissions,

certificates, passports or other documents to citizens or entities. Yes

b. Allocate any financial or other benefits to citizens (for example social

security benefits). No

c. Allocate any financial or other benefits to legal entities (for example

subsidies). No

d. Receive payments from members of the public (such as fees, taxes,

etc). Yes

29. Where it does so, are there clear procedures and clear criteria for the

provision of such items and/or receipt of payments? Unknown

30. Where can these procedures and criteria be found? Unknown

31. Where officials have to exercise discretion in the exercise of decisions on such

items, are there clear guidelines on how they should exercise that discretion

(e.g. that it should serve a particular objective)? No

32. If the organisation does not make a decision on items that are the subject of an

application period (e.g. for a license or permission) within the deadline

defined, is the issue automatically resolved to the benefit of the citizen/entity? No

33. Is the procedure for provision of such items organised in such as to minimise

the number of contacts citizens need to have with the organisation or other

organisations (one-stop shop). Yes

34. Are there multiple locations at which such items may be secured (e.g.

different branches of the same institution, post office, etc) or does one office

have a monopoly? One


E. Record-keeping


35. Does the ministry have clear rules for the management of records and

files? None known to staff.


36. Are individual decisions of the ministry recorded and filed according to

clear rules and for a clearly defined and binding minimum period? Some, yes.


37. Who has access to these files, who is authorised to amend them or review

them? No one in particular.


38. What degree of freedom of information exists with respect to the institution’s

files and documentation, both in terms of which decisions/files/documents

are made public automatically (and how), and which ones are available on

request? To what extent is such access guaranteed in practice? Under the pretence of national security, very little information is available publicly and given upon request.


F. Transparency

39. Does the ministry have a formal policy or rules on the automatic

dissemination of information? No Does this include automatic provision on the

website of the following?:

a. Organisational structure of Ministry and contact persons No

b. Ministry policies and policy documents No

c. Laws and sub-legal acts No

d. Draft laws and regulations No

e. Procedures of relevance to citizens and legal entities, such as for

applications for items mentioned in Section D. No

G. Access to information

40. Does the ministry have an official clearly designated to process and

respond to requests for information filed under the Law on Right to

Information on Official Documents? No

41. How many requests were filed last year? N/A

42. How many requests were refused or are currently in dispute? N/A

H. Ethics and integrity framework

43. Does the ministry have its own specific code of conduct or code of ethics? If it does, staff are unaware of it.

44. Are staff informed about the existence of the Code when assuming their

position? No

45. How often do staff receive training on ethics? Some do, some don’t: not more than once for those that do

46. Are staff familiar with the Code? What steps are taken to ensure this? No, none


47. Are there, either in such a code, or in guidelines or other regulations or staff

rules, provisions that instruct staff how to proceed in situations where they

find themselves subject to a conflict of interests? No

I. Accountability mechanisms

48. Do staff members have clearly-defined work procedures and routines for

reporting to superiors – either on a periodic basis (e.g. weekly staff meeting)

and on particular decisions or activities? No

49. Is there an internal inspection or control department? Yes, but it has been assessed to not function.

50. Approximately how many inspections/controls did the department carry out

last year? Unknown

51. Is there an internal audit department? Yes, though ministry informants say it doesn’t do its job.

52. What were the most important findings of the department last year? Unknown

53. How often is the ministry assessed by an external inspectorate or control

body? None in the past year

54. How often is the ministry audited by an external audit body? None in the last year

55. Were there any important findings on the ministry by such external

bodies last year (or at the last assessment)? N/A

J. Internal notification of ethics breaches

56. Is there a formal procedure by which staff members may notify a designated

official or unit of the ministry of suspected breaches of integrity or

contravention of the code of conduct within the ministry? No

57. Where the designated official is also the official that is the subject of the

complaint, is there an alternative channel by which staff may file complaints –

e.g. to an external organisation or to a higher superior? No

58. Are staff informed through training of these procedures and the official/unit

to whom they should file complaints? No

59. Are there any mechanisms in place to protect those who file such notifications

form retaliation? No

60. How many cases of such notifications by staff have there been in the last 12

months, and what was the outcome of these notifications for both sides

involved (the official notifying, and the subject of the notification)? None

K. Complaints mechanisms

61. Are there clear procedures by which citizens may file complaints against

actions of the ministry or its officials? No

62. Where can these procedures be found? N/A

63. Are decisions on complaints taken by the same person or unit in the

ministry at which the complaint was directed? N/A

64. How many complaints did the ministry receive last year? Unknown

65. How many complaints were upheld as well-founded? Unknown

L. Disciplinary procedures and sanctions

66. How many disciplinary proceedings were conducted against staff of the

ministry last year in connection with breaches of ethics rules? None

67. How many of these proceedings resulted in sanctions being applied? N/A

68. What was the breakdown in sanctions applied (number of cases for each type

of sanction)? N/A

M. Vulnerable areas

69. Can you identify which areas of your ministry or its activities are most

vulnerable to misconduct? Rehabilitation, Directorate of immigration, office of the director general of MINS

70. Has a risk analysis been conducted on your ministry to identify areas

vulnerable to misconduct? No

71. Does your ministry’s Anti-corruption Action Plan contain specific

measures to tackle these vulnerabilities? No such plan in the ministry

N. Anti-corruption policies

72. Who in your ministry has formal and specific responsibility for

development, implementation, monitoring and coordination of anticorruption

policy? No one

73. Is this responsibility stated in that staff member’s job description (see

Question 4)? N/A

74. Is there a working group within the ministry tasked with formulation,

coordination, monitoring and reporting on anti-corruption policy? No

75. How often does the working group meet? N/A

Appendix 2

Bank records. Contact us if interested in seeing them. All queries will be judged on a case-by-case basis.


Corruption That Costs Lives

For this report, ten marqaati volunteers took public transportation vehicles across Mogadishu and to Afgoi, Balad, and El Ma’an – the three main roads out of the city – to observe illegal money collection checkpoints in and around Mogadishu that had been reported to marqaati. A further 40 regular users of the road, including drivers and ordinary citizens, were also interviewed.

The findings of our investigation are as follows:

  1. Government security forces illegally collect money from public buses and cargo trucks.
  1. The pursuit of illegal payments is hindering security because roads that are supposed to be closed are open to he-who-can-pay.
  1. Security forces rarely pay bus fares when they use public transportation.
  1. Security forces collect illegal payments and don’t pay bus fares in plain sight, which creates a sense of lawlessness in the public arena. Interviews conducted with commuters reinforce this finding.
  1. All illegal payments are collected at or near known security bases.


In our 29-day investigation of 12 security and administration
checkpoints in Mogadishu conducted by 10 volunteers who interviewed 40
users of the roads, illegal money collection amounted to no less than
the equivalent of 3000 US dollars and no less than two hours spent
each day on the roads by each of the 10 volunteers. This means the
figure illegally collected each day is significantly higher. Sums
ranged from as little as 0.25 dollars at the smallest end to 50
dollars at the greatest. See the map below.

View Illegal Money Collection Points In and Around Mogadishu in a larger map

Click here to view snapshots of police and soldiers engaged in illegal money collection

This is a regular occurrence that not only illegally deprives people of cash and slows down traffic, but also risks and exposes the security of a capital regularly under attack.

Most illegal money collection points in and around Mogadishu use legal cover. They are meant either for security or administration purposes; either to search for weapons and suspects or to collect taxes, but no security work actually takes place in all the checkpoints investigated.

Some checkpoints double as security points to search for illegal weapons and terror suspects. But as witnessed by marqaati volunteers, no searching for weapons and suspects actually takes place.  Even during times of heightened security threats and when some roads are closed off, marqaati volunteers have witnessed policemen taking “tea” from motorists who want to use roads closed to non-government traffic. None of the 10 marqaati volunteers was searched even once on any of the 12 security checkpoints surveyed in the 29 days that this investigation took place from June 20 to July 20.

No searching for weapons and suspects takes place in any of the security checkpoints that we investigated. The soldiers and police busy taking bribes and not doing their jobs enables the escalation of insecurity inside Mogadishu. Below is a selection of hand grenade, car bomb, and IED (Improvised explosive device) attacks in the neighbourhoods and roads with significant security presence and where said attacks took place during the period of our investigation, showing that the checkpoints are failing and giving a false sense of security.

View Selected Attacks From June to July in a larger map

Some checkpoints inside Mogadishu are used to check for whether public transportation vehicles have licences and also to collect daily vehicle tax from them in the morning. Many minibuses in the city don’t have the proper papers and even fewer drivers of these minibuses have driving licences (due to Somalia’s recent past, few people have valid driving licences today). This makes them vulnerable to traffic and regular policemen who harass them and stop their work if they refuse to pay them a little something.

Given the security risks associated with and the economic burden of these illegal money collection points, marqaati calls on the Somali government to take firm action to fix this problem by:

  1. Increasing the professionalism of the security forces and discharging criminal elements from duty.
  1. Paying the security forces on time and in full.
  1. Banning the chewing of khat by security forces. Given the fact that the average soldier and policeman makes less than enough to pay for a fortnight’s worth of khat (150 dollars), paying them on time becomes irrelevant if they are armed addicts.
  1. Creating an investigative unit within the ministry of the interior that identifies, investigates and arrests illegal money-collecting security forces.

We at marqaati understand that all these will take time, but we believe that actions should be taken now for this problem of the security forces openly extorting payments from the public to end and to ensure the streets are patrolled properly and made safe.