Arms for Somalia diverted to militia

2014-02-15 12:43

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - UN monitors have found evidence that arms shipments to the Somali government have been diverted to clan militias and in one case were destined for a Shabaab rebel commander.

A confidential report by the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group, seen by AFP on Friday, found "high level and systematic abuses in weapons management and distribution" by Somali authorities.

In February 2013 the United Nations Security Council voted to partially lift an arms embargo against Somalia, seeking to help the beleaguered government in its battle against Islamist guerrillas.

But the council imposed restrictions requiring notification of shipments, banned certain heavy weapons and mandated the Monitoring Group to watch how matters proceeded.

On February 6, the coordinator of the UN monitors wrote to the chairman of the Security Council committee overseeing the sanctions to present a report that raised serious concerns.

The report, which is not binding on UN members, recommended a reversal of the loosening of the embargo, to try and stop arms shipped to the Somali government falling into the wrong hands.

"However, an alternative recommendation to the committee would be to introduce, at the minimum, enhanced notification and reporting requirements, if not a partial tightening," it said.

Somalia's government struggles to control its own territory, despite the support of a large African Union force, and the Shabaab rebels regularly launch devastating attacks despite recent defeats.

Since the arms embargo was made more supple last year, Somalia's allies Ethiopia and Djibouti have sent several large shipments of mainly infantry weapons to government forces.

In addition, according to the US experts' report, a senior Somali government minister bought weapons from "a foreign government in the Gulf" and shipped them without notifying sanctions monitors.

Open sale

This in itself constituted a breach of the embargo, the report said, adding: "Indeed, after delivery, some of the weapons were moved to private locations in Mogadishu. Investigations are ongoing."

The UN monitors reported that they were able to obtain photographs showing rifles that were shipped for use by the Somali army on open sale in Mogadishu markets, with their serial numbers ground off.

Senior Somali officials have also, the report alleges, been implicated in the transfer of weapons meant for the national army to militias tied to the Abgaal and Habar Gedir clans.

Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is a member of the Abgaal clan, and the report says the team found evidence tying a network of officials to arms shipments to the group's forces.

The group has "obtained documentary evidence corroborating information that a key advisory to the president, from his Abgaal sub-clan, has been involved in planning weapons deliveries to Shabaab leader Sheikh Yusuf Isse 'Kabukatukade'."

The Security Council is expected to review the arms embargo in March, and could decide either to lift restrictions entirely, maintain the monitored sanctions regime or tighten it.

Since the fall of dictator Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia has been prey to a series of conflicts between clan, religious and criminal militias.

Mohamud's election in September 2012 has given rise to hope that the country may once again achieve stable government, and he has received strong support from the West and regional allies.

Read more on:    somalia  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your ideas may feel like a sea of thoughts swimming around every which way, and now you need to find something to contain them in...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.