US, The Zenawi Regime accused over Somalia – By Mark Turner at the United Nations and Barney Jopson in Kenya

July 27th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

The Zenawi Regime is accused of killing civilians with white phosphorus bombs, the US navy of attacking suspected al-Qaeda operatives in Puntland, and Eritrea of delivering surface-to-air missiles to Islamist militia, in a startling new report on Somalia by UN arms monitors. (more…)

The Zenawi Regime is accused of killing civilians with white phosphorus bombs, the US navy of attacking suspected al-Qaeda operatives in Puntland, and Eritrea of delivering surface-to-air missiles to Islamist militia, in a startling new report on Somalia by UN arms monitors.

Warning that the number of weapons in Somalia now exceeds that during the early 1990s, when the failed East African state was engulfed in civil war, the UN monitoring group describes persistent instability in which anti-government Islamist forces are far from a spent force, and former warlords are reasserting themselves.

From late last year to mid-June, the UN analysts – whose previous report courted significant controversy with its contested claims of weapons and personnel flows between Somalia and the Middle East – conclude that an Ethiopian invasion and African Union peacekeepers have failed to stop massive arms flows into the country.

Furthermore, the latest period has witnessed a “drastic increase” in piracy off the Somali coast, and “pirate command centres” are operating “without hindrance” at many coastal landing points.

“In brief, Somalia is awash with arms,” the report says. “There is no clearly established authority that has the capability of exercising control over a majority (of the weapons).”

Some of the most dramatic claims implicate Ethiopia and Eritrea, who are believed to be conducting a proxy war in the country, through their respective backing of the transitional government and Islamist and clan-based militia.

During a battle on April 13 between the Ethiopian military, which remains in the country, and the Shabaab, elite forces from the Islamic Courts Union, “Ethiopian military forces resorted to using white phosphorus bombs … approximately 15 Shabaab fighters and 35 civilians were killed.”

Ethiopia denies the claims, saying it does not possess such weapons. The monitoring group obtained pictures of the area of impact of the bombs, and a soil sample analysed in Nairobi was consistent with their use.

Meanwhile, despite its conventional defeat by Ethiopia in December 2006-January 2007, the Islamic Courts Union has switched to guerilla and terrorist tactics, including suicide attacks and targeted assassinations. Recent arms seizures by the government “represent only a small fraction of the total arms belonging to and hidden by the Shabaab”.

Shabaab fighters shot down a Belarussian cargo plane in late March 2007 with an SA-18 surface to air missile, “reported to be a part of a consignment of six SA-18s that had been delivered by Eritrea”. The monitoring group has a video of the firing of the missile. Eritrea has denied involvement.

The monitors also say they received reports that on June 1 this year, the US Navy “attacked by firing several times at suspected al-Qaeda operatives near the coastal village of Bargal, Puntland, Somalia.”

When questioned, the US government said it had “conducted several strikes in self-defence against al-Qaeda terrorist targets in Somalia”.

Also of concern is the panel’s finding that “warlords are now among the most important buyers of arms at the Bakaraaha arms markets”, in Mogadishu, “and are trying to regain control over their former fiefdoms (which they lost to the ICU in 2006).”

“The warlords are currently trying to reconstitute and arm their respective militias, some of which consist of as many as 500 fighters.”

Separately, a long-awaited peace conference has entered its second week in Mogadishu as organisers seek to reconcile the country’s myriad clans, political factions and former warlords. But its success is likely to be hampered by the absence of two key constituencies: representatives of the the Islamic Courts Union and the powerful Hawiye clan. They refused to attend in protest against the continued presence of Ethiopian troops in the country and the interim government’s perceived lack of willingness to engage with its opponents.

  1. shotolay(mekonen)
    | #1

    woyane making rong war with somali islamist from the bigining meles zenawi decided to go this war rong time and rong place.suppose to be he have to go a head and finished his unfinished war with his uncle isayas afeworki not with somale.he did no’t finished this war in asmera his uncle his gonna finish hem by bud way.all surounding things not good even for ethiopia.what happen last time menegestu abandon ethiopian people and a country with out any organized political and organized power he left the country with out any warning or sign that whay this number one public enmy banda arival in menilik this banda or yebanda lege (son)meles zenawi he creat alot of a recist and tribal,clan groups by the order of his uncle isayas afeworki.this tribal groups both side they playen dangeruos game.even kinijit leaders they become a good political partener for them i think they blinded by this tribals they don’t now how much they tray to used them to distroy hour country and they tray to ther dream a clan or tribal govenment.inside kinijit i no so money good ethiopian but the same time there is evile hiden inside good people. pleas be aware after avery thing they gonna swallow you.they are well organized by fininciali,politicli,and what goin on ogaden region that good sign for ethiopian. weak up and cooperat to do some thing.


  2. Tigist
    | #2

    Now, I hope the people that have been supporting Meles and Issayas get a pure glimpse of what these evil guys up to. Think about home many lives have been lost in the last four decades because of these evils. What do TPLF and EPLF brought to the people that they say that they represent? Where are they taking us? I am sure after answering the above couple of questions; any reasonable person would come to conclude that Meles and Issayas must go right now. Now days these evils not only the locals, they are disturbing the whole east Africa.

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