Radio Shabelle website reports that the Somali Finance Minister, Dr Abdirahman Beileh, was attending a meeting in Addis Ababa about debt relief for Somalia. Debt relief is a federal government buzzword. The Federal Government leaders have not explained what debt relief entails beyond occasional tweets from the Finance Minister or the President. Somalia does not have the characteristics of countries that benefit from debt relief. At 2017 London Somalia Conference, the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, said AMISOM remains in Somali in response to a global threat from the war-torn country. What are immediate consequences from this situation?
More than 90% of funds raised for the reconstruction of Somalia goes to AMISOM operations. Somalia does not have a government that is able to eliminate domestic threat to global security. Foreign peacekeepers are gainfully employed to take the role a Somali Army would play to deter and prevent terrorist threats . How can a country that accesses measly 9% of development aid raised in its name reap benefits of debt relief?
Debt relief can open the door for a country to borrow money from other countries or multilateral agencies to perpetuate debt dependency. The military regime ( 1969-1991) saddled Somalia with the lion’s share of the debt Somalia owes several countries and organisations. Since 1991 Somalia has not been able to service the debt, a situation that increases Somalia’s debt. In the eyes of many Somalis debt relief is public relations exercise of the Somali Federal Government. Repeating it in the face of mounting security challenges exposes fallaciousness of debt relief for war-torn Somalia.
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