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UK denies financing, support of Liyu Police

The UK government has denied its involvement in the financing and support of Somali Regional state’s special force a.k.a. Liyu Police.

The Department for International Development (DFID) head in Ethiopia, Christian Rogg, in his official twitter account wrote that the UK government has never had any involvement.

It is to be recalled that there were a number of reports made by the international media implicating the UK government, and particularly the Agency with the Liyu Police.

Back in 2013, the Guardian wrote a report entitled “UK tenders to train Ethiopian paramilitaries accused of abuses”. The report disclosed UK’s government intention to finance and train the force which a number international human right organizations accusing members of the force committing a human rights violations.

The supports were allegedly said to be availed under DFID as part of a "peace-building" program which lasted for five years with the total funds estimated from GBP 13 million to GBP 15 million.

Five years after the controversy, DFID made it clear that it has no involvement.

“The British embassy is aware of some reports circulating on social media referring to a  reporting from five years ago which speculated on sources of funding for the Somali regional special police,” reads the statement.  “Press reporting in 2013 focused on DFID’s peace and development program. The program intended to support development and reduce conflict in Somali regional state.”

“It helped thousands of children attend primary school and improve access to health services and clean water,” claims the statement.  “It provided legal aid and specialist legal support, particularly for women and children.”

In this regard, the Agency’s country director in Ethiopia met with the current president of Somali region, Mustafa Omer and explained the situation.

“I confirmed to Somali Regional President that - despite repeated rumors UK has not funded the Liyu police,” Rogg wrote in his twitter.

“Planned support improves security in the region implemented,” according to the same statement from the Embassy.