UN renews mandate of arms embargo monitoring group in Somalia
The United Nations Security Council on Friday renewed the mandate of a group monitoring the 16-year-old arms embargo imposed on Somalia, saying piracy might increase access to a fresh arsenal of weapons, dpa reported.
A report by the monitoring group said there has been a steady demand for weapons and ammunition while security in Somalia has deteriorated. It said most weapons have come from commercial markets, particularly in Yemen, and sent to Somalia across the Gulf of Aden.
The monitoring group received a fresh 12-month mandate to investigate the arms flow into Somalia, and which parties or individuals finance the purchases in violation of the UN arms embargo.
The report has identified an overlap between piracy, contraband and arms trafficking across the Gulf of Aden. It said pirates operated and benefited from the complicity and protection of officials in the semi-autonomous Puntland region in Somalia.
The report said the pirates have been using some of the ransom money to buy and purchase new weapons to increase the effectiveness of their bold seizure of ships off the Somali coast.
The pirates last month captured a Saudi tanker with an oil cargo worth 100 million dollars and a Ukrainian ship carrying weapons worth 30 million dollars.