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UN asked to scrutinize sale, donation of military equipment to Somalia

By Fredrick Obura | January 27th 2019

The Somaliland is calling for scrutiny of any sale, donation of military equipment to Somalia government to curb situation where such equipment end up in wrong hands.

The call comes days after media reports indicated that the artillery used in a hotel in Nairobi attack made its way to Kenya from Somalia.

In a terse letter to the United Nations Security Council president Francisco Antonio Cortorreal, Somaliland foreign affairs and international cooperation minister Yasin Hagi Mohammed took issue with a donation of armored vehicles donated by Qatar to Somalia.

Hagi Mohammed said in light of the verified past and ongoing diversions of weapons and other military equipment to terrorist and criminal groups by the Somalia government “whether by design or neglect” represents a clear violation of the current arms embargo on Somalia and poses a material threat to Somaliland as well as the security of the neighbouring nations, Kenya included.

Said the minister: “Our concern is that violating the UN Security Council resolution will result to escalate the protracted conflict with devastating consequences for Somalia and the potential to fuel further instability across the region including Somaliland.”

He said the UN resolution 2444 explicitly condemns any transfer of defence materials that result in the possession by the Al Shabaab and affiliates linked to the Islamic State terrorist organization.

Somaliland concern comes just days after Kenya Police confirmed that three out of the five guns used in the terrorist attacks on   Nairobi's DusitD2 business complex were initially bought by the Federal Government of Somalia.

United Nations Security Council in November last year warned that military equipment purchased by the Somali Federal Government was being diverted to the armouries of rebel movements.

The arms, the UN continued, included many from a consignment received in mid-2017.

They are now believed to be in the possession of arms dealers in Mogadishu and Baidoa.

“Many such weapons were likely diverted piecemeal by unpaid members of the Somali security forces,” the UN cautioned.

A Somali government official acknowledged there was some leakage of weapons.

“I am not denying that some cases (of diversion) happen from our side but it is not permanent and systematic,” Awes Hagi Yusuf, policy unit chief at Somalia’s presidency, was quoted by Reuters saying.

Qatar, has argued that the supply of armoured vehicles intention is to help Somalia’s efforts to establish peace and stability and fight terrorism but Somaliland government says because of the inability of Somalia government, these weapons can instead be used in a conflict that is causing immense suffering and loss of lives since Somalia is politically and socially fragmented.

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