Sources:“Fifty percent of all Somali government bought weapons end up on gun markets for highest bidders”
Mogadishu (Harar24) – According to many Somalia and its government continue to struggle to move forward and constantly end up back at square one, however according to recent revelations compiled and presented by the UN monitoring group regarding “systematic abuse of arms & weapons” by top Somali officials, it seems as though Somalia never progressed beyond square one.
According to the thirteen pages long report, the Somali government is responsible for “systematic abuse” and “diversion of weapons & ammunitions” to armed clan militias and at times indirectly to the Al-Qaeda affiliated group Al-Shabaab. The report claims that it “has identified a number of issues and concerns over current management of weapons and ammunition stockpiles by the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), which point to high level and systematic abuses in weapons and ammunition management and distribution.”
The report further indicated that certain top officials were guilty of abusing the system of distribution by distributing weapons and ammunitions to their respective clans, whether serving in the armed forces or not, in an attempt to empower their clans who in turn use them in clan based wars to kill and evict minority clans from their lands. According to the report: “The Monitoring Group has identified a core group of individuals within the Abgal subclan of President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud who appear to be dominating the procurement of weapons as well as their distribution from SNA stockpiles.”
Previously before the appearance of this report, Harar24 spoke to members and elders of minority clans in the Lower and Middle Shabelle who claimed that the Habargidir and Abgal clans have been using government obtained weapons and ammunitions to kill, abuse and usurp their farmlands, a claim which this report now confirms. The report cites the following: “SNA sources, and sources involved in providing logistical support to the SNA, have confirmed that elements of this brigade have provided weapons to allied Abgaal units during the course of these clashes.”
The report further indicated that “sources within the SNA” that previous distribution towards the ‘Ayr sub clan resulted in “’Ayr militia to drive Biyamal civilians off their lands” in the Lower Shabelle region.
However, what the report had failed to mention is that besides clan militias and militant groups, one of the most profiting categories of people from these arms diversions are Somalia’s notorious black market arms dealers. An arms dealer in Mogadishu who spoke to Harar24 on the condition of anonymity claimed that this has been their chance to make fortunes easily. “Before we used to take risks and indulge in difficulties such as smuggling from the borders to buy and bring in weapons. Now, this has been all been reduced to making a quick phone call to some of our “contacts” in the government.”
This claim is also echoed by some sources within the government, who claim that “fifty percent of all weapons if not more, end up on the gun markets where it becomes property of the highest bidders, including Al-Shabaab”.
This comes after President Hasan Mahmud publicly mentioned in an interview with VOA mentioned that the Somali government were planning to buy more weapons in order to help in the fight against Al-Shabaab. However, now with these recent revelations, who is to say that Al-Shabaab themselves won’t get a share of these new weapons?