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>> A frustrated United States has withdrawn aid from the majority of Somalia's armed forces after the military was repeatedly unable to account for where the support had gone. That's according to private correspondence between the U.S. and Somali governments seen by Reuters. The corruption concerns come at a sensitive time.
African Union peacekeepers arrived in Somalia a decade ago to fight the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab. But they're scheduled to leave by 2020. The first 1000 peacekeepers go this month. The U.S. food and fuel aid was meant to help build a national force capable of taking over that fight.
But there are concerns Somali forces will not be ready as Reuters Catherine Herald explains.>> Diplomats are worried that if the African Union Peacekeeping Force withdraws without strong Somali national forces to take their place, Somalia's fragile political gains could crumble. And the lawless horn of Africa nation could offer a safe haven for Al Qaeda operatives from Yemen, or Islamic State fighters fleeing military advances in Iraq and Syria.
>> Despite hundreds of millions of dollars of support, official documents paint a stark picture of a force hollowed out by corruption, unable to feed, pay, or arm it's soldiers, some of whom don't even have boots.>> When a joint U.S., Somali team just hit nine bases looking for evidence of the U.S. aid, they found no evidence of food in seven out of the nine bases.
>> And the weakness of Somoli forces has deadly consequences. Al-Shabaab is striking with ever larger attacks such as this suicide bomb explosion at a police training camp in Mogadishu on Thursday. At least 18 officers were killed. A reminder of the deadly challenge facing Somalia's fragile military.