Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Yemen Primary Supplier of Weapons to Somalia

Filed under: Proliferation, Somalia, Yemen, pirates, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 8:53 am on Saturday, December 20, 2008

The UN monitoring group on the 1992 arms embargo on Somalia finds “Yemen remains the most important source of commercial arms transfers to Somalia.”

One shipment for the ONLF in Ethiopia contained 101 anti-tank mines, 100 hand grenades, 170 rocket-propelled grenade-7 rounds, and 170 boxes of 7.62 mm ammunition, each containing 440 rounds. The mines were packed in rice sacks from a company in Sana’a. The same boats that bring the migrants bring back weapons and are involved in piracy.

143. Not surprisingly, there appears to be an intersection between piracy and other
criminal activities, such as arms trafficking and human trafficking, both of which
involve the movement of small craft across the Gulf of Aden. One sub-group of the
Puntland network, based in the Bari region, allegedly uses the same boats employed
for piracy to move refugees and economic migrants from Somalia to Yemen,
bringing arms and ammunition on the return journey.

Of course, commercial weapons trafficing in Yemen is often sponsored by those in official positions. The purported largest weapons dealers (for example, Faris Manna, Regent Street, Sana’a) are said to be partners with some very top officials (Salah & family). This is part of the reason the military budget is so high. Not only is this hooked in with piracy and refugee smuggling but also drug and oil smuggling. Its John Gotti with an air force.

Report text below the fold:

Yemen
118. Previous reports have extensively documented the role of Yemen as the
primary market for commercial arms imports to Somalia. Although Yemeni curbs on
domestic arms sales since June 2008 have somewhat reduced the volume of exports
to Somalia and driven up arms prices in Somali markets, Yemen continues to be the
primary commercial source of arms and ammunition for Somalia.
Weapons from
Yemen continue to feed Somali retail arms sales, as well as the needs of armed
opposition and criminal groups. Insurgent groups in Ethiopia also procure arms and
ammunition from Yemen, which then transit Somalia in violation of the arms
embargo. A smaller traffic in arms and ammunition flows from Somalia to Yemen,
allegedly in support of Yemeni insurgents.

119. In recent years, the Yemeni Coast Guard has become more active in the coastal
waters between Aden and Al Mukalla. This appears to have had some impact on
arms trafficking from the ports along this patrolled area. The absence of regular
Yemeni Coast Guard patrols east of Al Mukalla, however, means that arms traffic
continues unabated from these areas, mainly with the northern coast of Puntland.
The authorities in Puntland and Somaliland, as well as multiple other sources
interviewed by the Monitoring Group, have confirmed that maritime traffic from
Yemen, across the Gulf of Aden, remains their largest single source of arms
.

120. The Yemeni Government denies that large-scale arms trafficking to Somalia is
taking place, and told the Monitoring Group that there have been only two
interceptions of arms cargoes since 2004, including a seizure on 5 July 2008.16 The
Monitoring Group has nevertheless been able to confirm reports of arms trafficking
through multiple interviews with credible sources and inspections of several
consignments of arms.

121. On 17 August in Hargeisa, the Monitoring Group inspected a shipment of
ammunition seized by the Somaliland authorities on 15 April 2008 in Burao. The
ammunition came from Yemen and were destined to ONLF in Ethiopia. It consisted
of 101 anti-tank mines, 100 hand grenades, 170 rocket-propelled grenade-7 rounds,
and 170 boxes of 7.62 mm ammunition, each containing 440 rounds.
The anti-tank
mines were packed in sacks originally for rice from a company based in Sana’a and
an investigation by the Somaliland authorities determined that the weapons had been
shipped from Yemen.

133. The NATO Shipping Centre describes piracy operations in the following
terms: (a) The Gulf of Aden and Mogadishu Pirate Attack Zones (PAZ): Over 60
vessels have been attacked in these two areas in 2008. These zones are served by
“mother ships” based in Bossaso and Mogadishu in Somalia, and Al Mukallah and
Al Shishr in Yemen
;

143. Not surprisingly, there appears to be an intersection between piracy and other
criminal activities, such as arms trafficking and human trafficking, both of which
involve the movement of small craft across the Gulf of Aden. One sub-group of the
Puntland network, based in the Bari region, allegedly uses the same boats employed
for piracy to move refugees and economic migrants from Somalia to Yemen,
bringing arms and ammunition on the return journey.

144. Likewise, members of the Harardheere group have been linked to trafficking
of arms from Yemen to Harardheere and Hobyo, which have long been two of the
main points of entry for arms shipments destined for armed opposition groups in
both Somalia and Ethiopia. Numerous reports received by the Monitoring Group
link Yusuf Mohamed Siyaad “Indha’adde”, military chief of the ARS/Asmara
faction, to the activities of the central Somalia pirate network, to arms imports
through Hobyo and Harardheere, and to the kidnapping of foreigners for ransom

(see paras. 145-147 below).

262. Despite the haemorrhaging of the Transitional Federal Government security
sector, there remains a steady demand for arms and ammunition from commercial
arms markets, chiefly in Yemen. The inability of the Government of Yemen to stem
the flow of weapons across the Gulf of Aden has long been, and is likely to remain,
a key obstacle to the restoration of peace and security to Somalia.

263. Curbing the flow of Yemeni weapons to Somalia will require a package of
robust political pressures and incentives, capacity-building programmes for coast
guards around the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, and direct naval action to interdict
arms trafficking.

Yemen to refute information on ban on importing somali weapons

[21 December 2008]

SANA’A, Dec. 21 (Saba) –Yemen is to refute misleading information on a ban on importing weapons from Somalia, a source at the Foreign ministry has said.

Yemen is mostly affected by instability and deteriorating situation in Somalia and these effects are reflected by the influx of Somali refugees fleeing civil conflict and humanitarian deterioration in their country as they arrive in Yemen’s coasts almost daily, the source made clear.

Latest figures say almost 1 million Somalis have already arrived in Yemen, an issue which the government says lays more burdens on the country’s fragile economy and sometimes leads to social, security and health repercussions, the source added.

Furthermore, smuggling weapons is sometimes associated with the arriving of displaced Somalis.

Yemen has strengthened its efforts to combat the smuggling of weapons from African countries with Yemeni coastguards thwarting many attempts to traffic weapons through the country’s coasts.

Yemen reiterates its readiness to cooperate with the UN and all regional concerned parties to fight piracy and all forms of weapon smuggling, the issues resulted due to the situation in Somalia where there is not a central government.

The source said Yemen renews calls on the international community to help bring stability and security to Somali as well as supporting Somalis to reorganize the country’s institutions.

1 Comment

1

Comment by bakre

12/21/2008 @ 4:48 pm

president Saleh he used smuggling since he been a in Bab almandab
he send weapons to Arthurian fourses

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