Somali men cover the body of a victim of the suicide bomb attack, before burial, following a suicide bomb attack on a police academy in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
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The United States is suspending food and fuel aid for most of Somalia's armed forces over corruption concerns, a blow to the military as African peacekeepers start to withdraw this month.The U.S. suspension of aid came after the Somali military repeatedly failed to account for food and fuel, according to private correspondence between the U.S. and Somali governments seen by Reuters.The State Department official said Washington would continue to support small, Somali special forces units mentored by United States personnel and would also work with the Somali government to agree criteria that could restore support to other units.Documents sent from the United States Mission to Somalia to the Somali government show U.S. officials are increasingly frustrated that the military is unable to account for its aid.At one base, less than a fifth of the soldiers listed by Somali commanders were present. The best-staffed base had 160 soldiers out of 550 . Troops relied on support from AU forces or local militias to survive.Yusuf, a 35-year-old Somali soldier stationed near the Indian Ocean port of Kismayu, knows what it's like to depend on local militias and AU forces to stay alive.Somalia's national security plan calls for a military of 18,000 soldiers, funded by the central government and operating countrywide.
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