The Defense Minister of Somalia has declared his intention to take legal measures against troops trained by the United States for their involvement in stealing rations.

Mogadishu (HOL) – Somali Minister of Defense Abdikhadir Mohamed Noor has admitted that high-ranking officials of the U.S.-trained elite unit were involved in the misappropriation of rations donated by the United States, although their identities were not disclosed.

During an interview with Universal Somali TV on Saturday, Minister Noor disclosed that the diversion of rations took place last month and that the officers linked to the incident have been under detention for five days.

He mentioned that the food supplies were bought from local markets.

“It is shameful for government officials to partake in theft. Those found guilty will be subject to legal proceedings and held accountable,” the minister stressed.

A U.S. official stated in a comment to Reuters that Washington considers all allegations of corruption seriously.

“We anticipate working with the Danab to establish the necessary safeguards and accountability measures to prevent future incidents that could hinder future aid,” the official said, without directly addressing if any U.S. aid had already been halted.

In 2017, the United States agreed to assist in training and equipping the 3,000-strong Danab to serve as a rapid response strike team against al Shabaab. The group has been carrying out an insurgency against the central government since 2006.

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