Nairobi, October 1, 2003 (The Nation) – United Nations sanctions
busters, miraa-traders, property grabbers - these are the people who
fuel the Somali conflict. And they have undermined the traditional
role of Somali elders as arbitrators and peace negotiators.
As Somalia becomes deeply impoverished, the Somali conflict
typically centers on the control of property or income-generating
infrastructure. Harbors, airports, markets, bridges, road junctions
- anything that can be "taxed" usually is.
The various warlords must continuously struggle to raise sufficient
money to pay their militia and obtain arms and, more importantly,
Fighting is no longer about higher ideals, such as nation-building.
It is about the advancement of personal material interests.
These are some of the conclusions of a Nairobi-based United Nations
panel of experts, set up to investigate violations of the UN arms
embargo imposed in 1992, following the inter-clan warfare that
engulfed that country after the fall of President Siad Barre.
In a report to the Security Council, the experts say neighboring
states and other players have, with impunity, flagrantly violated
the arms embargo.
The experts say Somali warlords and faction leaders are convinced
their business can go on as usual. They have not seen any real
enforcement of the embargo by the UN or its member states over the
past 12 years.
The "dismissive attitude" to the embargo "will continue to prevail"
if the international community does not show any resolve to
implement the embargo or remain vigilant in investigating new
violations, the experts warn in a report to the Security Council.
"Since the arms embargo has been consistently violated since its
imposition, it has no normative value, and none of the Somali
faction leaders or regional sponsors has been held accountable.
The experts found Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, the Sudan, Yemen,
Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait have given arms,
equipment, money or training to Somali factions - in violation of
Kenya is not mentioned as a sanctions buster. But the experts say it
contributes to the financing of the factional fighting through its
miraa trade with Somalia. This trade "is a significant source of
revenue for the Somali warlords".
It is estimated, for example, that miraa flights to the Daynile
airfield (west of Mogadishu) alone amount to nearly $170,000 a
month. This is apparently shared among the airstrip owner and other
Miraa use increased dramatically after the outbreak of the civil
war. Militia members typically chew the substance to combat fear and
The trade is associated with a war economy. Its import and
distribution is linked to airstrips and the rival militias that
control them. Warlords rapidly developed interests in the trade. It
helps to finance their weapons purchases and keep their troops
They import between 5,000 and 7,000 tons of miraa yearly from Kenya.
The experts say that it is because of the sanctions busters that the
fighting continues despite numerous peace conferences, including the
14th which opened in Eldoret and resulted in the signing of the
Eldoret Declaration last year. It provided for a national government
Nation TV's Farida Karoney's recent three-part series based on a
visit to Somalia, which examined the prospects for peace, pinpointed
the problem: Somalia is awash with arms. Armed factions and clans
rule the territory. Without disarming the various militias, Karoney
said, a government picked in Nairobi would find it impossible to
restore law and order.
Now the UN is seeking to shore up the arms embargo and, this month,
the Security Council will send a mission to the region "to
demonstrate the Council's determination to give full effect to the
Mr. Mwaura, a former Editor-in-Chief of the Nation, is Deputy
Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Nairobi.
Source: Dialy Nation, Oct 2003
Cunitaanka iyo Ka Ganacsiga Qaadka
Soomaalida Minnesota oo isku ballansaday In ay Cunitaanka
Qaadka ka Cirib Tiraan Gebi Ahaanba Meel ay Soomaali Kaga Nooshahay
Dunida Guud Keeda...