Djibouti arrests officials in anti-corruption sweep

Ismail Omar Ghuelleh
Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh is seen at the opening of the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and the Government of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 9, 2020. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

NAIROBI (Somaliguardian) – Djibouti arrested ministerial directors and traders in a new anti-corruption sweep, the Attorney General said on Monday, weeks after authorities in the tiny Horn of Africa nation had detained police chief and other officials on suspicion of coup plot.

In a statement, Djibouti’s Attorney General said the Ministry of Budget had squandered public funds intended to cover state expenses on “non-priority and futile benefits which seem to be mostly fictitious”.

Recurring and unjustified orders from the same suppliers for renovations of the same building of the Ministry of Budget or acquisition of building material, furniture, computer equipment and other consumer goods for the same Ministry of Budget, for exorbitant amounts of several billion dollars [among issues behind the arrest],” Djibouti’s Attorney General said.

The arrest of Mr. FARAH MOHAMED OSMAN, Deputy Director of Materials at the Ministry of Budget and Mr. SAHAL SAID AWALEH, Director of the General Treasury was followed by the arrest of several frequented traders and many others who were revealed by the investigations.”

The move comes weeks after officials including the country’s Police Chief and former Minister of Budget were detained over suspected coup plot to overthrow President Ismail Omar Ghuelleh, who had won fifth term last year in an election boycotted by the opposition and secured more than 97 percent of votes cast. read more

Authorities say there was a “fraudulent agreement” between officials at the Ministry of Budget and traders to embezzle several billion Djiboutian franc from the national treasury.

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