Somalia Accuses Eritrea of Continuing to Arm Rebels

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Somalia’s transitional federal government on Thursday accused Eritrea of continuing to arm Islamist rebels fighting in the country despite last month’s UN sanctions against it.

Information Minister Sheik Dahir Mahmud Guelleh said in a press conference in Mogadishu that his government has evidence showing the Eritrean government is still giving arms and ammunition to Islamist rebel groups fighting Somali government and AU peacekeepers in Mogadishu.

“Al shabab gets assistance including arms, ammunition, money and other military equipment from Eritrea which is helping the destabilization in the horn of Africa region,” the Somali information minister stated.

“Eritrea’s military assistance to Somali Islamist rebels is imported in the port city of Kismayo which has also an international airport,” the minister added during his press conference in Mogadishu.

He said that Al-Qaida and Eritrea are fueling the crisis in Somalia where hundreds of foreign fighters belonging to Al-Qaida are fighting with the assistance of the Somali Alqaeda-inspired group Al shabab.

“We are calling on the world governments to help the United Nations to strengthen the arms embargo on Eritrea to compel it to stop assisting terrorists fighting the Somali government,” he said.

Last month, the 15-member Security Council of the United Nations unanimously voted for a resolution which imposed sanctions on Eritrea including an arms embargo, a travel ban on its leaders and freezing Eritrean assets throughout the world.

The minister asked the International community to help the Somali government defeat terrorists and establish law and order in the war-devastated country where more than half a million people, mainly civilians, were killed since the 1991 downfall of the former military rule of the late dictator General Mohamed Siyad Barre.

Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar is the NewsBlaze Somalia reporter, an experienced journalist. Shafi’i writes news stories, features and sends photos relevant to the current situation in Somalia.Shafi’i is also an international sports journalist and member of the international sports press association AIPS.He is a long-time sports journalist and reported from many international competitions including the Olympic Games.The photo shows Shafi’i at London 2012 Olympic Park.