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Anticorruption urges Somali region to set up corruption watchdog
Ali Sulaiman, Commissioner of the Federal Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (FEACC), urged the Somali region to set up a corruption watchdog as concerns grow with the region being the alone administration without an anticorruption commission.
“We have urged the region president recently to set up an anticorruption commission. The president promised that they would do so in the coming budget year and they would send some people to us for consultations that would facilitate the process. So far they haven’t sent their people,” FEACC Commissioner Ali told members of the executive of committee of anticorruption national coalition on Thursday.
The national coalition’s executive, which oversees the national anticorruption hierarchy forged across various sectors including between FEACC and government institutions, NGOs, religious institutions, media and others met on Thursday at Hilton Addis to assess the coalition’s previous and current budget year’s six months performance reports.
“Though we cannot tell a region what to do, it is good to discuss how our approach should be towards regions yet to join the fight against corruption,” said Education Minister Demeke Mekonnen, a member of the national executive committee, during Thursday’s meeting. Other members of the committee also echoed the concern.
FEACC says the slow pace of some regions to join the national fight has gained momentum in the past year.
“We have all the regions set up an anticorruption committee. The remaining region to follow suit is Somali and the regional anticorruption commissioners held our latest meeting in the capital of Somali State Jijiga to promote the agenda and we discussed the issue with state’s president,” Commissioner Ali said in response.
FEACC, established in 2001, is in charge of the federal government institutions, public enterprises and in companies the federal government has substantial stakes. It also oversees Dire Dawa city administration with its branch office stationed there.
“Like we did with Dire Dawa we can also open branches in Somali,” said Commissioner Ali indicating that if Somali continues to move slowly on its promise FEACC can extend its hand over the region. “If we go there and investigate one or two cases also, they would be motivated to setup their own anticorruption commission.”
According to a performance report of the first six months of the budget year which is between July and December, FEACC was provided 1600 tips to investigate possible corruption cases. 760 fall under the mandate of the commission and have been taken in. The commission says it enjoys a conviction rate of 82 percent.
As part of the national anticorruption coalition the commission’s ethics education directorate spearheaded efforts to aware over 10 million people with basic corruption offences and how to stop them.