Somalia goes for illegal arms merchants


MOGADISHU, Somalia - Illegal weapons merchants will be the major target of the federal government of Somalia in the latest strategy to control the flow of arms, a senior presidential advisor has said, noting that the country will not take chances by allowing criminal elements to take control of the market.

Mako Mohamud Muse, the presidential advisor on control of illegal arms, said measures have been taken to tame smugglers while lauding security forces for contributions made in regulating the flow of weapons to the country, as Somalia pushes to have the United Nations lift the arms embargo.

Last week, officers from the National Intelligence Security Agency [NISA] nabbed illegal weapons which were being smuggled into the country through the Port of Mogadishu with another consignment also captured a few days later. This, Muse said, is a manifestation that security agents are ready to handle criminals sneaking weapons into Somalia.

“The government has launched an investigation to identify and bring to book the individuals behind the illegal arms shipment which was meant to be used to attack the people of Somalia,” she said.

Two different consignments of illegal arms were seized at the Mogadishu Port and at the Mogadishu International Airport labeled with false manifests indicating that the goods were intended for commercial use.

“At the port of Mogadishu, NISA personnel discovered a shipment of military hardware and explosive materials concealed within containers posing as authorized business imports,” State Minister of Defense Mohamed Ali Haga said.

The United Nations banned Somalia from importing certain weapons a move which Somalia insists is an impediment to the fight against Al-Shabaab. Somalia has activated sustained military operations against the militants who have lost significant territories in central and southern Somalia.


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