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Daily Nation : February 16th 2014
SUNDAY NATION February 16, 2014 37 WORLD An adviser to President Mohamud has been involved in planning the delivery of weapons to key Shabaab leader, Monitoring group claims United Nations, Saturday Government have been diverted to clan militias and in one case were destined for a Shebab rebel commander. A confidential report by the U 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 .... a key advisory to the president, from his Abgaal subclan, has been involved in planning weapons deliveries to Shebab leader Sheikh Yusuf Isse” The report 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. Serious concerns On February 6, the coordi- nator 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 MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB | NATION A Somali woman reacts near the site of a car bomb in central Mogadishu on March 18, 2013. At least eight people were killed in the attack by Shababs. A new report by the UN’s Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group says some arms meant for the government end up in the hands of Al-Shabaab, its biggest enemy. tightening,” it said. Somalia’s government strug- gles to control its own territory, despite the support of a large African Union force, and the Shebab 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 in- 1991 fantry 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. 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 Year when Somalia was plunged into anarchy after the fall of dictator Siad Barre 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 docu- mentary evidence corroborating information that a key advisory to the president, from his Abgaal sub-clan, has been involved in planning weapons deliveries to Shebab 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. (AFP) DRC militias blamed for ‘massacre’ in the east Goma, Saturday Rival ethnic militias in the Demo- cratic Republic of Congo are believed to be responsible for mass killings reported in three villages in the east, a UN spokesman has told the BBC. More than 70 civilians are alleged Civilians flee fighting in Sake Town near Goma in November last year. to have been summarily executed in late January and early February. Col Felix Prospere Basse said tension between two Mai Mai groups in the mountainous Masisi area had resulted in a spate of revenge killings. On Thursday, a reconnaissance flight by Monusco, the UN mission in the country, discovered three villages burnt to the ground. Killed with machetes Most of the victims are reported to have been killed with machetes. The UN estimates that more than 40 militias operate in eastern DR Congo, which is rich in minerals often exploited by the armed groups. “The villages are empty because the population has fled the area and we have observed three villages which have been burnt down,” Col Basse told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme. There had been clashes between the Mai Mai FDC, an ethnic Hunde militia, and an ethnic Hutu group called the Mai Mai Nyatura, he said. (BBC) N monitors have found evidence that arm shipments to the Somali MOTHER’S MILK ORDERS FOR BOY OR GIRL— RESEARCHERS Scientists at Havard find link between milk type and baby gender. P.40 INVESTIGATIONS | Security Council might tighten embargo on Mogadishu in its review next month UN group reveals how Al-Shabaab gets arms meant for Somalia regime BRIEFLY BISSAU Workers’ strike shuts national TV station Employees at the national tel- evision station of Guinea Bissau (TGB) on Friday began a 30-day strike over unpaid salaries. The broadcaster will remain off air over the period, sources said. The strike action is the third in two months over four months of unpaid salaries. A statement issued by the TGB employees’ union on Thursday also urged the government to employ 70 more workers as a pre-condition to reopening the station. (By Tamba Jean-Matthew, Nation Correspondent). OUAGADOUGOU Akon sets out to light up African villages Senegal-born American hip-hop star Akon arrived in Burkina Faso this week where he supervising the launch of his continental project dubbed “Akon Lighting Africa”. “I’m here to add action to words” by electrifying between 150,000 and 200,000 homes in different parts of the extremely hot and landlocked country. “My ambition is to electrify African villages, step by step’” Akon told reporters Friday. (By Tamba Jean-Mathew, Nation Correspondent). BLANTYRE Banda and 11 others join presidential race Twelve individuals including President Joyce Banda, have presented the presidential nomination papers ahead of the May 20, 2014 presidential election marking the end of the week of receiving the nominations papers. President Banda, in a colourful display stormed Blantyre on her way to present the papers.. Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Maxon Mbendera warned President Banda not to take advantage of her incumbent to abuse state resources. (By Rex Chikoko, Nation Correspondent). ACCRA Rawlings calls for Cabinet reshuffle Former Ghanaian president Jerry Rawlings yesterday called for an urgent ministerial reshuffle in the current government of President John Mahama, which he described as “incompetent.” Mr Rawlings is the founder of the ruling National Democratic Congress and has made it a penchant to condemn his successors, often using intemperate language. The ministry of Information and Media Relations dismissed the reshuffle call. (By Francis Kokutse In Accra, Nation Correspondent).
February 15th 2014
February 17th 2014