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Monitors List States Backing Factions In War-Torn Country
The government provided at least 28 separate consignments of arms, ammunition and military equipment. It also gave troops and training to the Islamic Courts Union.
On April 26, a shipment of arms destined for ICU consisting of AK-47 assault rifles, PKM machine-guns, RPG-7s and ammunition arrived on a dhow at the seaport of El Ma’an.
On May 6, an Eritrean Antonov military aircraft landed at Dhusamareeb in the Galgaduud region of Somalia. Awaiting the landing were about 75 people, five lorries and two Land Cruisers. The aircraft carried anti-aircraft guns which were loaded onto the lorries.
On May 9, a dhow arrived at the El Ahmed seaport, and on board were fighters from Pakistan and the Oromo Liberation Front of Ethiopia. The fighters remained on the dhow. Five of the 75 people associated with the receipt of the anti-aircraft guns on May 6 boarded the dhow, along with some of anti-aircraft guns.
ICU member Aden Hashi Farah "Eyrow," one of the leaders of the Hizbul Shabaab (youth movement), took possession of the arms and military uniforms.
Shipment loaded onto lorries
The shipment was loaded onto lorries and transported under the protection of 12 technicals to Mogadishu, where it was separated into four consignments and distributed to militant forces in Mogadishu, Marka, Barawe and Kongo, where the Eritreans intend to set up a military base in support of ICU.
On June 19, a dhow arrived at the El Ade seaport in the Mogadishu area with 24 M72-series lightweight anti-armor weapons, 1,200 anti-tank mines, 4,000 F1 hand grenades, an unspecified number of boxes of ammunition for small arms, 2,000 uniforms, 1,500 military-style water bottles and medicines. The arms and other items were transported from the port of Assab, Eritrea.
On June 30 , a vessel, mvSelam, traveled from the Eritrean seaport of Massawa to Somalia with foods and arms.
On July 4 , four Eritrean military aircraft landed at the Esaley airport, north-eastern Mogadishu. Two flights contained arms for ICU, and the others carried about 500 military personnel consisting of Eritrean fighters.
On July 15 , Col Yusuf Negash Warque, an Eritrean military officer, arrived in Mogadishu on a chartered aircraft and held a meeting with leaders of the Supreme Council of Islamic Courts.
On July 17 , a vessel, mv Yohana, traveled from Eritrea to Somalia carrying foods and arms.
On July 20 , Airbus A310-300 aircraft left Assab, Eritrea, destined for Somalia with a variety of arms, including anti-tank guns, machine-guns, AK-47 assault rifles and rifle-fired grenades.
But the airline and the Eritrean government denied participating in the events.
On July 23, a commercial aircraft arrived at Dhusamareeb in the Galgaduud region with a shipment of shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles and second-generation infrared-guided anti-tank weapons. The plane had reportedly departed from the United Arab Emirates empty and then flown to Eritrea where it picked up the arms.
On July 24 , an aircraft with senior Eritrean military officers arrived at Mogadishu’s Esaley airport with an unknown number of rockets and other anti-tank weapons.
On July 26, a dhow from Saudi Arabia and carrying foods stopped over in Eritrea and picked up a shipment of arms. The vessel then continued to Somalia with a retired senior Egyptian army officer who posed as the coxswain. The vessel arrived in Somalia at Raage Eele, about 40km north of El-Ma’an.
The consignments were loaded onto waiting trucks and were covered to conceal their nature. The convoy containing the consignments and the Egyptian traveled to the stronghold of Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys in the Galgaduud region. The arms consisted of 3,600 anti-tank mines and 500 hand grenades.
On August 26, three dhows carrying 2,000 fully equipped combat troops from Eritrea arrived at Warsheikh, north of Mogadishu. On arrival at Warsheikh, the troops were moved to an area in north Mogadishu.
On July 8, a shipment of arms transported by camels and donkeys and escorted by 70 ICU members and 160 Ogaden National Liberation Front fighters entered Ethiopia through Abudwaq district in the Galgaduud region of Somalia.
The shipment consisted of explosives – shoulder-fired, anti-tank weapons, machine-guns, AK-47 rifles and hand grenades.
The government has given logistical support in the form of foodstuff and medicines intended for use by the ICU.
On June 11, a C-130 aircraft left Jazan for the Baledogle airport. But the government said the flight had taken place for "medical" reasons.
On August 14 , seven trucks containing logistical supplies, including foods and ammunition, left Mogadishu for an ICU location in the central regions of Somalia. Accompanying the convoy were 320 ICU fighters sent to reinforce fighters in the central regions.
On July 27, 200 ICU fighters were transported by aircraft to Syria for training in guerrilla warfare.
From June 9 to September 6, up to 20 arms shipments were sent to Somalia in violation of the arms embargo. They included 14 shipments from the government – 13 to TFG and one to the Puntland administration.
Source: The Nation