Somalia diverts arms to clans: U.N.

AFP-JIJI

U.N. monitors have found evidence that arms shipments to the Somali government have been diverted to clan militias and in one case were destined for an al-Shabab rebel commander.

A confidential report by the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group, seen Friday, found “high-level and systematic abuses in weapons management and distribution” by Somali authorities.

In February 2013, the U.N. Security Council voted to partially lift an arms embargo against Somalia, seeking to help the beleaguered government in its battle against Islamist guerrillas. But the council imposed restrictions requiring notification of shipments, banned certain heavy weapons and mandated the Monitoring Group to watch how matters proceeded.

The report recommended a reversal of the loosening of the embargo to try to stop arms shipped to Somalia from falling into the wrong hands.