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Somalia Names Abrar as Its First Female Central Bank Governor

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Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Somalia named Yussur Abrar as the country’s first female central bank governor, replacing Abdusalam Omer, who resigned after a United Nations monitoring group accused him of mismanaging the government’s money.

Abrar has spent the past 30 years working for international banks and insurance companies, Shador Hajji, a press officer in the presidency in the capital, Mogadishu, said by phone today. She will formally assume the role after a handover, the date of which has yet to be confirmed, he said.

Omer, who held the job for seven months, said he presented his letter of resignation “after the president told me that he was going to reshuffle all the government institutions, so before that I decided to quit,” he said in a phone interview.

Somalia’s government said on Sept. 6 that an investigation into a UN monitoring group report published in July showed its “condemnation of the Somali Central Bank Governor Abdusalam Omer’s stewardship of the bank was entirely unwarranted.”

An allegation by the UN monitors that $12 million had gone missing from a $16.9 million transfer to the central bank was incorrect, and all the money “is fully accounted for,” the government said in a press statement. FTI Consulting Inc., based in Florida, and a group of U.S.-based lawyers conducted the investigation, it said.

The Horn of African nation is rebuilding its economy from scratch after taking control of rebel-held territory over the past two years, bringing a measure of stability to the country.

Somalia has been wracked by civil war since the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. Government forces and African Union peacekeepers have been battling Al-Qaeda-linked militants in the country for at least the past seven years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mohamed Sheikh Nor in Mogadishu at msheikhnor@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net

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