(Adds appointment approved by ministers)
NAIROBI Nov 28 Somalia's government appointed a
former governor of the central bank to his old post on a
temporary basis on Thursday in a bid to steady an institution
rocked by rows over corruption.
Two governors have left in quick succession this year. The
first was accused by U.N. investigators of corruption, which he
denied. The second quit and fled Somalia, saying she was under
pressure to sign off on shady dealings.
The government has denied any corruption, but the departures
have undermined donor confidence in the bank whose probity is
seen as crucial to the rebuilding effort.
Bashir Issa Ali, governor under a former transitional
government who also held a top post in Somalia's commercial
bank, was asked to take up the position on an interim basis,
Finance Minister Mohamud Hassan Suleiman told Reuters.
"The appointment of the interim governor has been approved
by the council of ministers," Suleiman said by phone after the
He said Ali would take up the post in the next few days.
"He is widely experienced," Suleiman had earlier said,
adding Ali was a man of integrity who began his banking career
in the 1960s and had held several top posts.
The minister did not explain why Ali had not been given the
post on a permanent basis.
Western and other donors, which have poured aid into Somalia
to help prevent an Islamist militant resurgence, have pressed
the government to clean up its finances. Diplomats said the
central bank saga has hurt confidence in the government.
Yusur Abrar, the first woman governor, resigned and fled
Somalia a month ago after less than two months in the post,
citing pressure to authorise improper deals, accusations the
She had taken over from Abdusalam Omer, who left in
September after holding the post since February. A U.N.
monitoring group report linked him to irregularities in central
bank withdrawals, a charge he and the government denied.
Western nations and others in the region see Somalia's
reconstruction as vital to preventing the Islamist militant al
Shabaab group from regaining ground after being pushed out of
major urban areas by an African peacekeeping force.
The areas the group controls are still seen as a launchpad
for militants with more global ambitions and targets.
(Reporting by Edmund Blair and Drazen Jorgic; Editing by
Richard Lough and Elizabeth Piper)