Oodweyne News - Latest Somali News Update

As weapons imported for Somali army resold in Somali arms dealers on the black markets, lifting weapon embargo from Somalia is threat to regional and world peace

When you heard Somalia from the media , many things struck in your mind like road bombing, Al-Alshabab suicide attack, pirates, kidnapping, weapon black market rackets, failed state, human trafficking, regionalism competition, tribal division, corruption, warlordism, lack of proper  political vision, absences of commonsense, voting buying, fragile government, foreign power   competition, never ending project which mean Somalia is still in crossroads and as a result  imposes threat to the region and world peace in general. Somali leaders are politically divided, the chaos in Somalia worsening day after day. The power competition between the fragile government in Mogadishu protected by over 20, 000.00 African peace keeping forces and reginal governments experiencing its highest peak.  Being undisciplined in the event, the embargo be lifted, Somali army who behaves like tribal militias will use the weaponry other than the intended purpose like selling in black markets or fighting each other as we have experienced many times in the past.  Somalia is experiencing many complex security issues which are threat to regional peace, the international community should continue the weaponry embargo the united nation imposed to Somalia as per United Nations Security Council adapting resolution 733 in 1992.

.   It is common practice that Somali army sells government weapons on open market in Somali capital, Mogadishu   Recently at least 600 weapons were stolen from a former United Arab Emirates-run training center in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu and are sold in black market, said by weapons dealers. The weapons, including new Kalashnikov assault rifles and Chinese versions of them, were stolen by Somali National Army soldiers who had been trained by the UAE at its facility, three Somali men who purchased weapons from the soldiers said.The UAE-trained troops have stolen weapons from training facility shortly after UAE disbanded the programme. Thereafter, Somali soldiers sold guns directly to the dealers and indirectly via their brokers.  Eyewitness, said they purchased the weapons for a price of $700 which less price compare to normal price in Mogadishu which is $1,350.00 in Mogadishu for a new Kalashnikov.

The dealers then resold at price of $1,000 each.  UAE has trained hundreds of Somali troops since 2014 as part of an effort boosted by an African Union military mission.  Many times in the past, members of Somali army found sold in open black market in Somali capital.  Kenyan intelligence agencies trace back weapons used on the DusitD2 terror attack to Somalia, stating that they were part of its army arsenal. Recently, Al- Shabab released a number of pictures of an armored. Personnel carrier (APC) belonging to the Somalia national army.  The photos taken  show the Al Shabaab flag pasted on the APC sides, a fighter standing on the vehicle spreading the black flag above it, and a number of other actions to hammer home that the APC is actually there and not a doctored picture. The pictures, taken from various angles, clearly show unmistakable signs of the SNA markings.  A Somali government official acknowledged there was some leakage of weapons, although he said this involved small amounts in one-off cases rather than a systematic problem.

According to a statement published on media outlets.  The statement further reveals that the vehicle was part of an assortment of vehicles and weapons the fighters captured from the Somali army.  According to western diplomats, many guns imported by the Somali government with U.N. approval are being resold by arms dealers on the black market in the nation’s capital Mogadishu.  Such sales violate the long U.N. arms embargo for Somalia.  Diplomats confirmed there are photographic evidence that between 35 to 40 percent of automatic rifles and other small arms on sale on the Mogadishu black market were imported by the government under the exemption. This is an evidences that Somalia is a country without an army.

Taken above into consideration, circumstance is not right lifting weaponry embargo from Somalia being a risk to the international peace.   It is certain that weapons will be sold in black market as happened many times in the event the embargo is lifted from Somalia as the Somali army are divided and undisciplined. Even the Somali regional states oppose lifting the sanction being consider the federal government threat to them. Furthermore, being tribally divided, there is no Somali national army in Somalia. Most of the existing army are from former tribal militias during warlords’ days in Somalia.

The security situation has been getting worse by the day. Suicide bombing and suicide attack are daily news in Somalia.  Somalia is like cleaning a pig, said one Ugandan colonel serving AMISOM. He said, you clean it, and it gets dirty. AMISOM was deployed to Somalia in 2007 with a six-month authorization to counter al-Shabab, a militant anti-government group. But no progress after more than 10 years as security situation is worsening day after day.   Somalia is like a boat its anchor failed to prevent the boat from moving which mean lost control.  As trust is like mirror once broken cannot be repaired, the world lost trusting the Somali leaders as they are continually encountering political crisis and cross roads.

Somalia has been locked in conflict for decades. Several solutions have been laid out including the presence of AMISON troops, but the situation keeps bouncing back. Somalia continues to suffer from ongoing violence. The world family of nations have discussed the deteriorating security situation in Somalia over dozens of times, but after 27 years, situation remain no change. There is now a new administration which has not been popularly elected because it’s still not possible to have popular elections reason being they have no strong commitment to tackling corruption and improving governance structures. The chronic crises in Somalia in general have been caused by a succession of repressive regimes and their disastrous domestic policies. It is true that Somali soldiers focused on their own survival, not routing out al-Shabab.

Years of armed conflict in Somalia have caused massive displacements of people. Billions of dollars have spent by the international community to restore peace and stability, but there is no slight progress to mention as the crisis navigating from bad to worse. Somali crisis which is unfinished business is like a boat its anchor failed to prevent the boat from moving.  At present, the called Somali leaders are politically deadlocked as each one campaigning to unseat the other one which mean each is trying to have upper than the other one as their individual self-gain is there only motto. Their divided army continually fight in many parts of their own country which mean, they have no control for their so called army. Zooming up, Somalia become battle ground open for completion and as a result solution did not exist even slight percent.   The United Nations imposed a blanket arms embargo on Somalia shortly after the nation plunged into civil war 25 years ago should hold to continue in view of above.

Ismail Lugweyne.