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Thursday, June 30, 2011

DETAILS ALLEGATION OF CORRUPTION IN UNICEF – Hargeisa Sub-Office

Date: Saturday, 13 June 2009
Somaliland prominent human rights and anti-corruption campaigner received death threats
Prominent local human rights and anti-corruption  activists Mr. Suleiman Ismail
Bolaleh, was threatened with  death if he continued to  campaign about
corruption allegations.

The threats against Mr. Bolaleh begun just days after when he exposed a serious humanitarian aid corruption cases involved by UNICEF staff and certain local partners in Somaliland. Already HORNWATCH able to submit a complaint against the death threats against its founder Mr. Bolaleh.

“Mr. Bolaleh believes that the death threat calls was involved by some of the staff of  UNICEF Hargeisa together with local partners who were jointly  engage the humanitarian aid scam/fraud business,
This is clearly violation of the right of human rights defenders to carry out their activities without any restrictions or fear of reprisals, as set out in the UN Declaration on the Rights and Responsibilities of Individuals, Groups and Institutions to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms.

HORNWATCH has learned that the staff of UNICEF Hargeisa office has worked to concealing facts and they were bribing certain government top officials including justice minister and ministry of family development officials, trying to receive from government help about the allegations made against them.

According  to the press statement issued by  UNICEF Representative a.i. Hannan Sulieman, in English and Somali versions distributed  through the email of an other UNICEF staff called Hussein - It is shameful that she state in her press  statement UNICEF STATES THE FACTS “With regard to the HORNWATCH allegations, these are fully refuted in letters from the Minister of Justice and the  Director of the Ministry of Family Affairs and Social Development.”

What  is the relation between UNICEF and  corrupted  government officials,  is UNICEF office in Hargeisa are accountable to ministries of justice and Ministry of Family  Affairs. We call  UNICEF Representative a.i. Hannan Sulieman, to choose the right way  which is to undertake urgent internal auditing  exercises,
prevent any evidence destruction trails, and then follow the results.

“Despite recently death threats from corrupted UNICEF staff and certain local NGOs we would shed the light the hidden corruption practices existing within humanitarian aid project” said Mr. Bolaleh.

Finally, we are hereby calling the Somaliland government to protect the security of prominent human rights defender and anticorruption campaigner Mr. Suleiman Ismail Bolaleh, who recently exposed serious humanitarian aid corruption practice involved by senior UNICEF staff based in Hargeisa.

HORNWATCH together with over 25 local NGOs are planning to launching anticorruption campaign on African Child Day 16 June 2009, this campaign will target recently exposed corruption cases involved by UNICEF Hargeisa.

M.N. Moge
Executive Director

HORNWATCH UNICEF STATES THE FACTS

Unfounded allegations and charges of corruption have recently appeared in the press which
UNICEF wishes to correct with the following facts:

UNICEF contracts transport services to support its live-saving interventions for vulnerable
Somaliland children and women. For this reason, in February 2009, the Nairobi-based Support
Centre for UNICEF Hargeisa issued institutional contracts to three transport companies after a
competitive and transparent bidding process fully in compliance with UNICEF rules and
guidelines.

As guided by UNICEF Regional Office, institutional contracts were introduced to replace previous
individual contracts.

The request for expressions of interest was published in Somaliland newspapers and all bid
documents were opened, reviewed - and the three companies selected - in Nairobi.
To qualify for consideration, the transport companies produced the following:
· Certificate of registration issued by the Somaliland office of the Attorney General.
· Certificate of Government Tax issued by the Ministry of Finance.
· Memorandum of Association issued by the Ministry of Commerce.
UNICEF has no evidence that any staff member owns, manages or is otherwise associated
with any of these three transport companies.
Those who have any proof to the contrary are invited to share this information with UNICEF.
Contracts cannot be cancelled unless the process is proved to have been flawed. We do
not have any evidence of this.
Meanwhile, in July 2009, a new process will begin to seek expressions of interest for transport
contracts to commence in October. As before, this request for expressions of interest will be
published in local newspapers and all qualified companies which meet the minimum criteria are
invited to apply.
With regard to the HORNWATCH allegations, these are fully refuted in letters from the Minister of
Justice and the Director of the Ministry of Family Affairs and Social Development.
If organizations have allegations against the Hargeisa Office of this international children’s
agency, they are invited to send UNICEF precise details of their allegations for investigation and
follow-up.
UNICEF cannot respond to allegations which are published in the media without notifying the
organization, nor to those who refuse to provide specific and detailed information to substantiate
their allegations.
UNICEF Representative a.i. Hannan Sulieman

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   AN OTHER CORRUPTION ALLEGATION AGAINST UNICEF HARGEISA OFFICE EXPOSED WITHIN ONE WEEK: TRANSPORTATION PROCUREMENT FRAUD

Within one weak the second serious corruption allegations involved by UNICEF
staff in Hargeisa office exposed through local media in Hargeisa the capital city
of republic of Somaliland
On 25 May 2009 mainly Hargeisa private independent print media published in
their first pages about UNICEF transportation procurements fraud involved by the
staff of  Hargeisa UNICEF office. The members of Hargeisa city Land Cruisers’
Organization  abbreviated as ‘SORFA’  including the drivers of this organization
held  large rally  near the Ministry of Interior building, above 200  4WD
LandCruisers including the owners and drivers of these cars participated the rally
and they held there press conference.
The speaker of this press conference Mr. Mustafe Cabdilaahi Maxamuud stated
that their cars were used to rent by UNICEF for a long time, but during the last
four months UNICEF Hargeisa refuses to hire our cars, because every UNICEF
staff in Hargeisa was purchased  one or two Land Cruisers, then they hire their
own cars to UNICEF instead previously UNICEF were used to hire our cars.
During the press conference Mr. Mursal Siciid Mire one of the members of
SORFA Hargeisa Land Cruisers Union said “we were complaining UNICEF
Hargeisa office’s corruption about car rent deals, UNICEF had used to rent our
cars but during the last four months the UNICEF staff told us that they will hire a
cars from new care rent company, and there is no other organizations except
Hargeisa Land Cruiser Organization which consist more then 400 Land Cruisers.
So when we realized that the UNICEF staff has purchased a land cruisers then
they hired their cars to their UNICEF organization and this is clear corruption, so
we are calling the government to intervene this issue”.
One contractors who well versed to UN and INGOs in Somaliland when asked
his view towards the procurement (car rent) corruption allegations against
UNICEF  Hargeisa  office, he said, I am well aware about allegation against
UNICEF office Hargeisa and it is true that each UNICEF staff in Hargeisa office
have purchased one 4WD Land Cruiser which they used to hire with their
organization. More worse, the cost of cars owned by UNICEF staff in Hargeisa
are higher then the cost of private cars (for example UNICEF Hargeisa office hire
4WD Land Cruisers per day trip to Berbera up to US$70  – US$ 80 a day, but
when the cars owned by UNICEF staff the cost is double up to US$150.00 per
day trip from Hargeisa to Berbera.
This private contractor concluded his remarks, only three of UNICEF staff
consisting one male and two female were not involved about car rent deals. Somali version:
The original Somali version as published by ramaas.com please clink here
http://www.ramaasnews.com/news.php?readmore=895
Previous corruption allegations against UNICEF Hargeisa please find belowOffice Telephone: 252 2 527876
hornwatch@yahoo.com
Head Office Hargeisa, Somaliland
Sunday, May 20, 2009
SUBJECT: DETAILS ALLEGATION OF CORRUPTION IN
        UNICEF – Hargeisa Sub-Office
Dear all concerned partners and stakeholders,
In the first, we would like to thank to those who have shown their expressions
and views upon our press release dated on 12 May 2009, in which we exposed
the serious corruptions shadowing UNICEF sub-office located in Hargeisa,
Somaliland.
Secondly, HORNWATCH as independent local right based NGO, primarily our
press release intends to reveal the prolonged corruption involved by some
UNICEF officers to bring them in to the eyes of stakeholders including,
government, donors and those who entitled to follow-up. HORNWATCH is not in
a position to condemn UNICEF as an international humanitarian organization of
wide and sensitive humanitarian activities, but contrary to that, we intend to fight
against corruption in general, especially to those seriously effecting the handful
humanitarian assistance provided to the most vulnerable groups including the
children and women of IDPs, PwDs, returnees, minority.
Thirdly, we would like to thank, UNICEF Somalia for their response (UNICEF
response to allegations made against its Hargeysa office) singed by  Isabella
Castrogiovanni, the officer-in-charge of Communication, HIV/AIDS,
Empowerment, and Protection (CHEP) section UNICEF Somalia, and humbly we
are apologizing you that we miss to copy our press statement to your offices in
Hargeisa and Nairobi, in fact that was technical error from our side.
in a meantime, we would like to put the attention of writer of the UNICEF
response letter, that we as local independent human rights NGO are not
accountable to UNHCR, just through a partnership we  promote the human rights
and fundamental freedoms of the most vulnerable groups of the
Somali/Somaliland community, this partnership would not suspend us, in what so
ever to monitor, document and exposes any human rights violations including humanitarian aid corruption incidents whether involved by UN agency/ies staff/s,
officer/s or local NGOs leaders.
As you requested please find below the specific details of UNICEF Hargeisa
office corruption allegations and we recommending furthermore independent
investigations measures:
There are widespread practices of kicks-backs and cuts, direct bribery activities
in almost every project implemented by UNICEF in connection with the local
implementing NGOs, covering a partnership ties based non-transparency biased
selection.
The UNICEF Hargeisa office’s section leaders who as happen many of them
were staying too long time in the field do a network of corruption has been
established, this created the partnership with UNICEF a several local NGOs who
have record on previously  miss management and  corruption cases.  Some of
Mainly the interviewed local NGOs leaders in Hargeisa are well aware about the
existing of corruption deals going in the UNICEF.
These serious corruption allegation have multiplied negative affects in the
humanitarian aid projects, and the reputation of the UNICEF Somalia, on the
other hand,  beside negative consequences created by corruption practices on
the lives of poor  it may create additional security risk of international
development/humanitarian workers based in the country, because when the right
NGO failed because of UNICEF staff corruptions and wrong NGO succeed
because of corruption  then every one of us can estimate the security risk
underlying this bad business, the concerned UNICEF Hargeisa sub-offices’
section leader/s have at least 30% percentage of every project fund. This fund
they received back from local partner NGO.  The documented corruption
compromises the effectiveness of aid projects where humanitarian aid targeted to
the poor get misallocated to the personal accounts of UNICEF staff.
Another, shocking gross human rights and humanitarian violation is that UNICEF
Officer in Hargeisa demanding sexual favor  return for access to job vacancy for
a Somaliland lady who submitted for job application, trying to apply for a job
vacancy post in the organization (UNICEF Hargeisa)  – HORNWATCH can
facilitate to meet the victim lady if UNICEF is interesting to investigate these
allegations against its office in Somaliland, the interview process of this case
would be treated the highest  confidentially manner and UNICEF investigators
should be women).
It is clear and many civil society in Hargeisa are aware that mainly the projects
funding by UNICEF Somaliland the UNICEF concerned section leader have
percentage of project fund, which he/she received back from local partner NGO.
In this course, HORNWATCH is ready to provide  any additional clarifications
needed by UNICEF and other stakeholders or concerned actors.
The above widespread corruption activities was contributed the following facts E According the reports released by International Transparency during
the last couple of years (2007/2008) Somalia including Somaliland is
perceived to be highest corrupted country around the globe,
*)
E Weak government, no anticorruption measures
E The rule of law is very weak in Somaliland
E Low levels of transparency and accountability in both within
government institutions and UN agencies
E Low levels of media scrutiny on corruption cases in the context of UN
humanitarian activities in Somaliland
We call UNICEF and UN leaders to take urgent necessary steps in order to end
the humanitarian corruptions  in Somaliland and other places of Somalia,
otherwise it undermines democratic accountability, diverts resources away from
the public good and into private pockets.
Finally, HORNWATCH is also aware a discrimination practices used against
IDPs, PwDs, minority, returnees children by UNICEF Hargeisa.
RECOMMENDATIONS
To Somaliland government:
E Somaliland government should take an evaluator role toward all UN
humanitarian project
To United Nations:
E UNICEF Somaliland’s Procurement and project management
procedures should be fair, reasonable, objective and transparent.
E Improved anti-corruption mechanisms in UN humanitarian activities in
Somaliland:
E Specific efforts should be made to bring the issue of corruption into the
open, rather than drive it underground
E Improved mechanisms should be introduced to control corruption on
both the supply and demand side.
E Independent integrity monitoring should be appointed to investigate
UNICEF Somaliland corruption allegations
                                               
*)
Transparency International World Corruption Perceptions Index 2007/2008E UN should change the longtime staff in Hargeisa Child Protection Unit
of UNICEF Somaliland sub-office, because longtime staffing is one of
the factors causing corruptions.
WE REQUEST UNICEF (SOMALIA), IF YOUR OFFICE IN HARGEISA ARE
USING CORRUPTION, DON’T ALSO FORCED US NOT TO SPEAK
CC:
- Somaliland National Planning and Coordination Minister & DG
- Somaliland Attorney General
- UN Security Officer in Hargeisa
- Advisor of miniter of interrior
- Editor of Inner City Press
- International Transparency
- Amnesty international
- Human Rights Watch
- East and Horn of African Human Rights Defenders Network
- European Union
- USAID
- CIDA
- DANIDA
- US Embassy in Addis Ababa, Nairobi & Djibouti
- British Embassy in Addis Ababa,
- Canada Embassy in Nairobi
- Sweden Embassy in Nairobi
- Norway Embassy in Nairobi
- University of Hargeisa
- University of Camuud
Thank you,
Suleiman Ismail Bolaleh
Chairman
HORWATCHTuesday, May 12, 2009
HORNWATCH PRESS STATEMENT
SERIOUS CORRUPTIONS PRACTICE INVOLVED
UNICEF HARGEISA, SOMALILAND SUB-OFFICE
HORNWATCH non-governmental, non political and non profit making local right based
NGO is shocked and dismayed to learn a serious corruption practice involved by the staff of
Child Protection Section of UNICEF Somaliland sub-office. During the last several years
the staff of Child Protection section of UNICEF Hargeisa office were used several local
NGO to divert the humanitarian aid.
Corruption in humanitarian aid undermines the fundamental purpose of humanitarian
action. HORNWATCH' believe that many corruption cases occur with humanitarian sector
are go unreported. It is time when this issue brings into the attention of public and all
stakeholders.
Therefore, we expect that all these corruption allegations will be fully investigated by UN
head offices based in Nairobi, Geneva and New York and demand that any people found
guilty of unlawful activities be dismissed, prosecuted and punished severely.
This is a dangerous cancer eating the already few humanitarian assistance provided to the
people who live a day less then US$1.00.
In the light  of this allegation these remarks have become more relevant than ever.
HORNWATCH is demanding emergency measures to root UNICEF’s Child Protection
Office corruption and the diversion of aid.
On the other hand, HORNWATCH documented discrimination violations against the
children of minority and the internal displaced people’s children by UNICEF Hargeisa.
Recommendations
To Somaliland government:
E Somaliland government should take an evaluator role toward all UN humanitarian projectTo United Nations:
E Improved anti-corruption mechanisms in UN humanitarian activities in Somaliland;
E Specific efforts should be made to bring the issue of corruption into the open, rather than
drive it underground;
E Improved mechanisms should be introduced to control corruption on both the supply and
demand side;
E UNICEF Somaliland’s Procurement and project management procedures should be fair,
reasonable, objective and transparent;
E Independent integrity monitoring should be appointed to investigate UNICEF Somaliland
corruption allegations;
E UN should change the longtime staff in Hargeisa Child Protection Unit of UNICEF
Somaliland sub-office, because longtime staffing is one of the factors causing corruptions.
Suleiman Ismail Bolaleh
Chairman
HORWATCH

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Opinion: Despite heavy security, Somali piracy is at all-time high

Despite $2 billion in security measures, pirate attacks are at record levels.