Egypt, which has been at loggerheads with Ethiopia over the hydroelectric dam project the latter is building over the Nile, has now defied a UN arms embargo with an alleged arms delivery it has made to Somalia, on February, 2020.
A leaked letter states that Somalia’s Ministry of Defense has written to its Egyptian counterpart, confirming that it had received weaponry and ammunition the latter has donated. Signed by Hassan Ali Mohamed, the Defense Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia, the letter, dated February 29, 2020, indicated that the Ministry had received 13 different types of firearms, artilleries and ammunitions from Egypt.
“The Ministry of Defense of the Federal Republic of Somalia certify that these goods will not be resold to, or made available for use by any individual or entity not in the service of the Somali Security Forces without written consent of the Ministry of Defense of the Arab Republic of Egypt,” the Minister of Defense of Somalia wrote.
With that, Somalia confirmed receiving a quantity of 50 RPG-7 grenade launchers, 1,200 AK47s, 25 PKM machineguns (medium) with 100 ammunitions, 175 PKM machineguns (soft) with 700 ammunitions, 50 DSHK 12.7 mm, 20 sniper rifles with 1,000 ammunitions, 6 units of 82 mm mortars with 550 ammunitions, 12 units of 12 60mm mortars together with 636 pistols which have been delivered to Somalia.
This arms donation that Egypt has extended, according to the Ministry of Defense of Somalia, is intended to be utilized by the government security forces.
Abdiqani Mohamoud Ateye, Minister of Defense of Somaliland, attaching the letter which his Somalia counterpart wrote, to the African Union, the UN and Somaliland’s President Muse Bihi Abdi, twitted that the government of Somaliland is deeply concerned over the failures of the government of Somalia to abide by the UN arms embargo.
“We condemn the Egyptian government for violating the arms embargo on Somalia. This poses a serious risk to the peace and stability of the Region,” he said.
When asked whether such incidents will have drastic outcomes on the regional peace and security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia opted not to comment on the matter. However, some security and intelligence experts on the Horn of Africa have suggested that the government of Ethiopia has to be concerned in regards to the moves its neighboring nations are making; And that, Ethiopia should seriously look at the bilateral relations it has with some of its neighboring countries.
Until 2017, the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) was tasked with monitoring how the UN arms embargos was implemented both in Eritrea (lifted in 2018) and Somalia. Currently, following the rapprochement and renewed relations Ethiopia has with its neighbors, some experts fear jeopardizing regional security and the peace building process.
In recent months, both Somalia and Somaliland, a de facto state since 1991, have been exchanging heated statements and the mediation efforts made by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) has failed as both sides refused to see eye to eye.