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Thursday, 8 February, 2001, 14:34 GMT
Anger over fake Somali currency
Mogadishu street scene
Commercial activity has been affected by the forged money
The main market in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, has been closed after forged currency was found to be in circulation.

A large quantity of forged Somali shillings arrived in the country on Wednesday evening and started appearing in Bakara market early Thursday.


The fact that the money keeps coming in shows how useless this new administration is

Market stallholder
Importing forged currency is a perennial problem in Somalia as businessmen and faction leaders take advantage of the country's instability to make a quick profit.

The Mogadishu government, the first for 10 years, appears unable to stop the flow of fake notes.

Money guarded

More than $3m worth of Somali shillings are reported to have been imported.

The money arrived at Ballidogle airport, 90 km south of the capital. It was driven to Mogadishu in 50 armed vehicles and guarded by 600 militiamen.

Angry stallholders were blaming the government for the latest influx of money.

"The fact that the money keeps coming in shows how useless this new administration is," one man said.

President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan has promised that a central bank will be established and new banknotes issued.

But his government has not been able to do that yet.

In the meantime the Somali shilling continues to fall against the dollar.

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See also:

31 Jan 01 | Africa
Somalia's thoughtful 'warlord'
29 Aug 00 | Africa
Somalia's new civilian leader
05 Feb 01 | Africa
Timeline: Somalia
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