Somalia says foreign entities tried to smuggle arms in the country
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Federal Government of Somalia has accused unnamed foreign entities of attempting to smuggle weapons and sophisticated ammunition to the country, without getting authorization from government agencies, in what could trigger heated debate.
Without naming the said foreigners or country, the government, through a statement issued by the Ministry of Information and Tourism, claimed that the actors were being aided by a group of Somalis whose identity was not immediately revealed.
"Somali and foreign entities have attempted to import illegally high caliber weapons to the federal republic without permission from the government," read a section of the statement, which was published by the ministry of information on Sunday.
The government insisted that any person or entity with a desire to import weapons ought to follow laid down procedures to avoid clashing with authorities. The weapons, it added, were seized by the government and are at "safe" custody of the regime.
Although the origin country of the weapon was not immediately established, the government claimed it's investigating the incident and warned against "violation" of her territorial sovereignty and integrity, which it insists would lead to destabilization.
"The federal government of Somalia takes violations of territorial sovereignty and integrity as well as any actions that can have destabilizing effects seriously. The government is investigating the origin and motives of the weapons and ammunition it has blocked intended for Somalia."
Sources indicate that the weapons may have originated from Kenya but Garowe Online would not immediately verify the reports. It's also not clear whether the weapons were seized at the troubled town of Baled-Hawo, where Jubaland security forces have been fighting with SNA.
On Monday, the federal government accused Kenya of supporting the Jubaland security forces but Nairobi was yet to issue a statement. The two countries cut diplomatic ties last year in what Somalia termed as "persistent interference" of her internal politics.