Somali government looking to recover foreign assets (Jan 08, 2013)
Somalia’s Foreign Minister is conducting a review of Somalia’s global assets to try to recover millions of dollars frozen by foreign companies and organizations following the collapse of the central government in 1991. The Foreign Minister, Mrs. Fowzia Yusuf has said the government is planning to demand the return of money held by the Swiss authorities, and of other assets, including ships and planes believed to be in Germany, Italy and Yemen. In the confusion following the fall of Siad Barre in 1991, some foreign governments froze Somali bank accounts to prevent unauthorized use. Other physical assets abroad including former embassy buildings were misued or are unaccounted for. Finance Minister, Mohamud Hassan Suleiman, has also called on the international community to help Somali recover its assets. He said the government would not hesitate to retrieve money illegally deposited abroad in foreign accounts over the last two decades, including bank accounts of previous governments or money originating in financial aid. He said the government was appealing to its partners to release documents to help track these funds. The government sent an official request to the UN Security Council for assistance to reclaim funds and other assets abroad in November.