MOGADISHU (Halbeeg News) – The United Arab Emirates have been violating arms embargo imposed on Somalia since last year, U.N. sanctions monitors said in a report.
In the unpublished annual report to the U.N. Security Council which seen by Al Jazeera, the monitors add that the Arabian Peninsula nation has military equipment to a under-construction military base in the breakaway Somaliland.
The UAE began construction of the base last year, under an agreement with officials in Somaliland.
The report said that the panel of experts from the UN did not receive a response from the authorities of Somaliland when they were asked to comply with the embargo in place.
“When the panel asked the UAE to present them with more details of the construction of the base, the response was; “The UAE concluded all agreements with the Somali regions based on constitutional powers granted to the heads of those regions to achieve security, stability, and prosperity for the Republic of Somalia and its people.”
The panel said it has not received any response from the UAE when asked to clarify why weapons were on board the seized ship.
UAE Ambassador to the UN Lana Nusseibeh said she could not comment because the report had not yet been published.
“That being said, the UAE is fully aware of all Security Council resolutions and is in full compliance with the sanctions imposed,” Nusseibeh told Reuters news agency.
“We also reaffirm our continued cooperation with the Monitoring Group throughout its mandate.”
Last month, the Somali government has repeated its plea for world leaders to lift an international arms embargo, as the Horn of Africa nation continues to struggle with security threats from Al-Shabab and ISIS groups.
Ahmed Isse Awad, Somali minister for Foreign Affairs said his country needs a longstanding weapons embargo fully lifted so the national army can obtain heavy weapons to defeat Al-Shabab.
“To consolidate our collective gains in security and to further support Somali security institutions to enable us to take over from AMISOM. I call on the UN to lift the arms embargo on Somalia,” Minister Awad said during while his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, “This embargo has been longstanding. It is what is levelling the field in our battle with the terrorist groups. When our force has the same fighting arsenal as the enemy the odds are split. Stronger fighting capacity will enable us to have the upper hand..it will entirely dismantle the terrorists and possibly within a short time.”
The UN imposed the ban on weapons trade with Somalia in 1992 following the intensification of the country’s civil war and the resulting anarchy following the collapse of the central government in 1991.