Letter dated 16 October 2006 from the members of the Monitoring Group on Somalia addressed to the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992)
A. Support from states and arms traders
As was the case during the previous mandate, ending in May 2006, the Monitoring Group notes the continuation of an expanding number of states – ten (10) at the writing of this report - providing different types of support to either the TFG or the ICU in violation of the arms embargo. State contributions to the TFG and ICU are either clandestinely delivered directly to the intended recipient using State owned means of transport, or, indirectly using an intermediary in the form of a private commercial maritime vessel - usually dhow - or aircraft in an effort to disguise the contributor’s true identity. Contributions include large quantities of a wide variety of arms including assault rifles and small caliber machine guns, large caliber anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns and mines, among others. They also include military materiel, motor vehicles – trucks and land cruisers used as mobile weapons platforms - military troops, trainers and advisors, and funding. The MG has identified the following arms embargo violations:
The Monitoring Group has received information that the Government of Djibouti has provided military uniforms and medicines in support of the ICU, as follows:
(a) On 30 July 2006, an aircraft from Djibouti Airlines landed at an airfield in Mogadishu, Somalia, with medicines and military uniforms intended for the ICU. The true nature of the cargo was disguised and was represented to be from the Djibouti Red Crescent Society in order to further conceal its origins. After unloading the cargo, the same aircraft departed the airfield and proceeded to Mogadishu’s main airport.
The Monitoring Group sent letters on 18 August 2006 to the Government of Djibouti, Djibouti Airlines and the Red Crescent Society of Djibouti notifying them of the above information and seeking its response. The Monitoring received a reply from the Government of Djibouti, dated 21 September 2006, Djibouti Airlines (Annex I), dated 20 August 2006, and from Djibouti Red Crescent (Annex II), dated 8 September 2006. All respondents denied having violated the arms embargo, as described above.
The Monitoring Group has received information that the Government of Egypt has provided training in support of the ICU, Somalia, as follows:
(a) On 26 July 2006, a meeting took place in Mogadishu between officials from the ICU and visiting Libyan, Egyptian and Eritrean senior military officers at the residence of ICU Finance Chief, Abdulkadir Abukar Omar Adani. The meeting resulted in the following decisions: military training would be provided to about 3800 fighters at the Hilweyne military barracks located near Bal’ad town, north of Mogadishu; Egypt and Eritrea would provide instructors; facility upgrades, training costs and incentives were to be paid for by the Libyan Government; Libyan, Eritrean and Egyptian military officers with support from Sheik Yusuf Indohaadde, Adan Hashi “Eyrow”, Abdullahi Ali Nuur and Mukhtar Roboow “Abu Mansuur” were to evaluate the condition and needs of the proposed training site the day following the meeting.
On 23 August 2006, the ICU opened the military training camp at Hilweyne and welcomed their first contingent of about 600 recruits who are expected to undergo a period of intensive military and ideological training
On 19 September 2006, the Monitoring Group sent a letter to the Government of Egypt notifying it of the above information and seeking its response. On 2 October 2006, the Monitoring Group received a reply from the Government of Egypt (Annex III) denying their involvement in the above described activity.
During the current mandate period, the Government of Eritrea provided at least 28 separate consignments of arms, ammunition and military equipment. They also provided troops and training to the ICU in Somalia, as follows:
Eritrean support to the ICU
(a) On 26 April 2006, a shipment of arms consisting of AK 47 assault rifles, PKM machine guns, RPG 7s and a variety of ammunition arrived on a dhow at the seaport of El Ma’an. The arms were from the Government of Eritrea and were destined for the ICU
(b) On 6 May 2006, at about 0500 hours, an Eritrean military aircraft – Antonov – landed at Dhusamareeb, Galgaduud Region, Somalia. Awaiting the landing of the aircraft were about 75 people, five lorries and two land cruisers. The vehicles headlamps had been turned on to facilitate the landing of the aircraft. The aircraft transported a shipment of anti-aircraft guns. The arms were offloaded from the aircraft and loaded onto the lorries. The lorries, accompanied by the land cruisers, travelled by road to a natural seaport near Hobyo on the Somali coast.
On 9 May 2006, a dhow arrived at El Ahmed seaport located south of Marka, Lower Shabelle Region. On board the dhow were fighters from Pakistan and Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). The fighters remained on the dhow. Five (5) out of the 75 people associated with the 6 May receipt of the anti-aircraft guns boarded the dhow along with part of the shipment of the anti-aircraft guns. The dhow then departed the port of El Ahmed travelling south along the coast with a destination Raskiambooni located in south Somalia. The Monitoring Group has previously reported that the Raskiambooni area serves as a training and support center for militant fundamentalists. In charge of the Raskiambooni center is Sheikh Hassan Abdulle Hersi “Sheikh Hassan Turki”, a known militant and leader of the Munathamul Jihad wa Dawa (Organisation for Jihad & Propagation).
(c) On 15 June 2006 and continuing over a short period of time, about one (1) week, four (4) Eritrean military aircraft landed at Dhusamareeb, Galgaduud Region. Included onboard the aircrafts were various types of arms including AK 47 assault rifles, PKM (machine guns), RPG launchers, a variety of ammunition and military uniforms
ICU member Aden Hashi Farah “Eyrow”, one of the leaders of the Hizbul Shabaab (Youth Movement), took possession of the arms and military uniforms. The shipment was loaded onto lorries and transported under the protection of 12 technicals to Mogadishu. In Mogadishu, the shipment was separated into four (4) consignments and variously distributed to militant forces in Mogadishu, Marka, Barawe and Kongo (former TFG military training camp near Jowhar), where the Eritreans intend to set up a military base in support of the ICU.(d) On 19 June 2006, a dhow arrived at El Ade seaport (Mogadishu area) containing 24 LAWs (M72-series lightweight anti-armour weapon), 1200 anti-tank mines, 4000 F1 hand grenades, an unspecified number of small arm ammunition boxes, 2000 uniforms, 1500 military style, individual water bottles, and medicines. The arms and other items were transported from the Port of Assab, Eritrea.
(e) On 30 June 2006 a vessel using the name SELAM travelled from the Eritrean seaport of Massawa to Somalia carrying food and arms, as follows: 2000 tones of food, around 50 DShK, 50 82mm mortars, 3000 AK-47 and 1000 boxes of ammunitions.
(f) On 4 July 2006, four (4) flights of Eritrean military aircraft landed at Esaley Airport located in the northeastern area of Mogadishu; two (2) of the flights contained arms for the ICU and two (2) of the flights transported a total of approximately 500 military personnel consisting of Eritrean military and fighters from the Ethiopian insurgent groups ONLF and OLF.
Subsequent to their arrival at Esaley, all of the military personnel were transported to El Ma’an seaport. At El Ma’an, militant fundamentalist businessman and financier Abukar Omar Adani made arrangements for the troops to be transported by dhow to the vicinity of Marka, Lower Shabelle. The three-fold purpose of the troop deployment to the Lower Shabelle is to create an alternative headquarters in addition to Mogadishu and establish both a new military base and a training camp for foreigners – both military trainers and fighters. The location of the new facility is located near both the seaport and airport of El Ahmed.
(g) On 15 July 2006, Colonel Yusuf Negash Warque, an Eritrean military officer, arrived in Mogadishu on a chartered aircraft. The Colonel, who speaks Somali, conducted a meeting with leaders of the Supreme Council of Islamic Courts including from both the Executive Committee and the Majlis Al Shura (Consultative Committee). The following day, 16 July, Colonel Warque departed Mogadishu in a Toyota pick-up truck and, escorted by four (4) technicals, travelled to Mareer-Gur for a meeting with Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys.
(h) On 17 July 2006, a vessel using the name MV YOHANA travelled from Eritrea to Somalia carrying food and arms, as follows: 3000 tons of food, 50 DShK, 30 82mm mortars, 2000 AK-47 and 100 RPG-7. It should be additionally noted that in a report by UN Panel of Experts on Somalia, S/2003/223, paragraphs 71-73, a vessel using the name MV YOHANA was also identified as being associated with the Government of Eritrea’s involvement in Somalia arms embargo violations, which, among other things, included delivering arms and transporting troops of the OLF.
(i) On 20 July 2006, an Airbus A-310-300, operated by Daallo Airlines, departed from Assab, Eritrea, destined for Somalia. Onboard the aircraft were a variety of arms, as follows: B-10 anti-tank guns; heavy (large calibre) machine guns; PKM machine guns, with magazines and telescopic sighting devices; AK47 assault rifles; G3A3 assault rifles; Browning .30 calibre machine guns; 120mm mortars; rifle fired grenades. And, on or about 21 July 2006, a second arms shipment, consisting primarily of a variety of ammunition, arrived in Somalia onboard an Airbus A310-300 - also operated by Daallo Airlines.
The Daallo Airlines flights picked up the arms shipments in the Eritrean seaport city of Assab, where the shipments had originally been delivered by dhow. Monitoring Group sources clearly indicate that Eritrea is being used both as a conduit and platform for, and coordinator of, support for the Somali ICU. States using Eritrea for this purpose include Djibouti, Libya, Egypt and certain middle-east countries.
The Monitoring Group sent letters on 18 August 2006 to Daallo Airlines and the Government of Eritrea notifying them of the above information and seeking their responses. All parties replied, as follows: on 22 August 2006, Daallo Airlines (Annex IV) denied participation in the above described events; and on 22 August 2006, the Government of Eritrea (Annex V) denied participation in the above described events.
(j) On 23 July 2006, late in the afternoon, a commercial aircraft arrived at Dhusamareeb (Galgaduud Region) with a shipment of arms for the ICU. The arms shipment consisted of the following: shoulder fired surface to air missiles and second generation, infrared-guided anti-tank weapons – 50 units; RPG’s - 100 units; AK 47 assault rifles – 540 units; FAL assault rifles – 94 units; PKM machine guns – 106 units; ZU-23 and DShK anti-aircraft ammunition – unknown number of units; and foodstuffs, water supplies and medicines. The aircraft that delivered the arms had reportedly departed from the UAE empty, and flew to Eritrea where it picked up the arms shipment.
The arms were loaded onto five (5) trucks and, under escort by seven (7) technicals, were transported to Mareer-Gur (Galgaduud Region) which was then the local headquarters of the militants. At a later date, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys relocated the headquarters to Bula’ley, an area approximately 40 kilometres southeast of Dhusamareeb.
(k) On 24 July 2006, an aircraft containing an arms shipment and senior Eritrean military officers arrived in Mogadishu’s Esaley Airport. The arms consisted of unknown numbers of rockets and other anti-tank weapons.
(l) On 26 July 2006, a meeting took place between officials from the ICU and visiting Libyan, Egyptian and Eritrean senior military officers at the house of ICU Finance Chief, Abdulkadir Abukar Omar Adani. The meeting resulted in the following decisions: provide military training would be provided to about 3800 fighters at the Hilweyne military barracks located near Bal’ad town, north of Mogadishu; Egypt and Eritrea would provide instructors; facility upgrades, training costs and incentives were to be paid for by the Libyan Government; Libyan, Eritrean and Egyptian military officers with support from Sheik Yusuf Indohaadde, Adan Hashi “Eyrow”, Abdullahi Ali Nuur and Mukhtar Roboow “Abu Mansuur” were to evaluate the condition and needs of the proposed training site the day following the meeting.
On 23 August 2006, the Islamic military forces opened the military training camp at Hilweyne and welcomed their first contingent of about 600 recruits who are expected to undergo a period of intensive military and ideological training. Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys indicated in comments concerning the new recruits that they would be trained, among other purposes, to participate in the defence of Somalia from both internal and external - foreign – aggression.
(m) On 26 July 2006, a dhow originating from Saudi Arabia carrying food items stopped in Eritrea and picked up a shipment of arms. The dhow then continued to Somalia. Onboard the dhow was a retired senior military officer of the Egyptian army who is also a member of the al-ikhw?n al-muslim?n (Muslim Brotherhood), using the name Ahmed Abu-Masri. The Egyptian posed as the dhow pilot. Also onboard the dhow was a Somali businessman, using the name Omar Isaaq, who had coordinated acquisition of the food items and arms. The dhow arrived in Somalia at Raage Eele, approximately 40 kilometres north of El-Ma’an. The consignments of food and arms were loaded onto waiting trucks and covered to conceal their true identity. The convoy containing the consignments and the Egyptian travelled to Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys’ stronghold in the Galgaduud region.
The dhow had a load capacity of 88 metric tons with the markings XL8.5x10 on its hull. The arms shipment consisted of the following: 3600 anti-tank mines and 500 hand grenades. On 18 August 2006, the Monitoring Group sent a letter to the Government of Saudi Arabia notifying it of the above information and seeking its response. The Monitoring Group had not received a reply by the time of the submission of the present report
(n) On 26 August 2006, three (3) dhows transporting 2000 fully equipped combat troops from Ertirea arrived at Warsheikh, located north of Mogadishu, along the coast. On arrival at Warsheikh, the troops were re-located to an area in north Mogadishu for ultimate re-deployment to different ICU held areas. They were re-deployed as follows: 500 of the Eritrean troops went to Baledogle, 500 to Hilweyne training camp, 500 to Lower Shabelle, and 500 remained in Mogadishu and were stationed at Villa Baidoa and the former Police Academy, Bolisiya.
(o) At the end of August 2006, at about 0645 hours, a large military transport aircraft arrived in Mogadishu International Airport with a shipment of arms from Eritrea. The shipment consisted of the following: M-46 130mm towed field gun, D-30 122 towed howitzer, M-30 122mm towed howitzer, D-30 152mm , ZU 57-2-57mm , Zu-23-2, Shilka-4-23mm, Zu-23-4, different calibers of mortars, SA-6 ‘Gainful’ Low to Medium Altitude surface to air missile, surface to air missiles PZRK Strela 2M aka SA-7 ‘Grail’, RPG-7.
Eritrean support to the ONLF via the ICU
(p) On 8 July 2006, a shipment of arms transported by camels and donkeys, and under the escort of 70 members of the ICU along with 160 ONLF fighters, entered Ethiopia through the Abudwaq District, Galgaduud Region, Somalia. The shipment consisted of the following: explosives – 06 boxes, shoulder fired, anti tank weapons – 06 units, PKM machine guns – 22 units, AK47 assault rifles – 120 Units, FAL assault rifles – 40 Units and hand grenades – 06 boxes.
Training of ICU militia in Eritrea
(q) On 27 July 2006, upwards of 500 fighters from the military forces of the ICU were flown from Easley Airport, Mogadishu, to Eritrea. They were sent for training on the use of the new types of rockets and surface to air missiles shipped by Eritrea to the ICU. Of the approximate 500 fighters, 200 were also to receive training in Eritrea in guerrilla warfare. The others were sent to Libya (100) and Syria (200) [more details included under Libya and Syria, this report]
(r) On 8 August 2006, 300 fighters of the ICU were also flown from Baledogle Airport (north west of Mogadishu), Lower Shabelle Region, to Eritrea for the purpose of attending military training on the use of rockets and surface to air missiles that Eritrea had recently delivered to the ICU. Earlier the same day, the same aircraft that transported the fighters also offloaded shipments of AK47 assault rifles and PKM machine gun ammunition at Baledogle Airport.
The Monitoring Group sent a letter on 18 September 2006 to the Government of Eritrea notifying it of all of the above information and seeking its response. The Monitoring Group had not received a reply by the time of the submission of the present report.
The case of ERIKO Enterprise, Asmara, Eritrea
(s) On 26 July 2006, at 07.45 AM, an Ilyushin aircraft (IL-76) containing an arms shipment for the ICU arrived at Mogadishu International airport. Also on board the aircraft were 10 senior Eritrean military officers. The Eritrean officers were lodged in the Ramadaan Hotel, owned by Abukar Omar Adani, who is a financier of the ICU.
The IL-76 departed from Assab, Eritrea, indicating a flight plan designating a destination of Hargeisa (Somaliland), but the aircraft went to Mogadishu. The IL-76 used the call sign or LFT-1221. The IL-76 has the Kazakhstan flag painted on the tail. The registration number on the fuselage of the aircraft starts with the following pre-fix: UN - which is the code for Kazakhstan.
Before landing, all road routes in the proximity of the airport were closed and vehicle traffic was redirected elsewhere. Security of the area and offloading of the arms shipment were coordinated by the leader of the Hizbul Shabaab, Sheikh Mukhtar Roboow “Abu-Mansuur”. The arms were offloaded onto seven (7) trucks that were covered to conceal the identity of the cargo. Another truck, carrying barrels of fuel, was left uncovered. The arms shipments consisted of a wide variety of weapons, spare parts, and ammunition including, among others, the following: assault rifles, hand grenades, mines, PKM machine guns, LAWs, surface to air missiles, multiple rocket launchers, different calibres anti-aircraft guns, anti-tank guns and heavy machine guns. Also on board the aircraft were military uniforms, machine gun belts (feeder belts) and medicines.
(t) On 28 July 2006, two (2) IL-76 cargo aircraft landed - the first aircraft at 0700 hours - at Mogadishu International airport. Both aircraft contained arms shipments for the ICU. Again, before the aircraft landed, all road routes in the proximity of the airport were closed to vehicle traffic. The arms shipments consisted of the following: anti-tank weapons; ZP-39 anti-aircraft guns with seats; 80 extra barrels for the ZP-39; boxes of ammunition for ZP-39; DShK heavy machine guns and boxes of ammunition; PKM and boxes of ammunition; AK 47 and boxes of ammunition; grenade launchers for the AK 47; mines; FAL assault rifles and boxes of ammunition; grenade launchers for the FAL assault rifle; SAR-80 assault rifles; anti-personnel mines; B-10 anti-tank guns and boxes of ammunition; and 60mm mortars and boxes of ammunition.
The arms were offloaded onto lorries and, escorted by a security detail consisting of 25 technicals, transported and distributed to three (3) arms storage facilities in Mogadishu - Villa Baidoa, Villa Somalia and the former Police Academy Bolisiya (between the international airport and the main seaport). The majority of the arms were divided between Villa Somalia and the former Police Academy.
Subsequently, arms from the three (3) shipments of 26 and 28 July were further distributed to militias belonging to the ICU in Mogadishu, Jowhar, Buur Hakaba (located along the road between Mogadishu and Baidoa) and Guriel (Dhusamareeb area).
(u) On 7 August 2006, an Ilyushin 76 (IL-76) aircraft operated by ERIKO Enterprises, using flight call sign LFT-3756, departed Assab, Eritrea, with a destination of Mogadishu International Airport, Somalia.
The Monitoring Group sent letters to the Government of Eritrea on 9 August 2006 and 1 September 2006, and the Government of Kazakhstan on 15 August 2006, requesting their responses concerning four (4) IL-76 flights reported to have variously taken place on 26 and 28 July, and 7 August 2006. The Monitoring Group also sent letters on 19 September 2006 to Aerolift Company, based in South Africa, and to the Government of South Africa requesting their responses to the above information. As of the submission of this report, the Monitoring Group had not received a reply from the Government of South Africa.
The Government of Eritrea did not reply to the 9 August 2006 letter. They replied to the 1 September 2006 letter in a letter dated 6 September 2006 (Annex VI) informing the Monitoring Group, as follows: “The Government of Eritrea does not have any information on the arrival or departure of the said aircraft. The Government of Eritrea is gravely concerned about the continued spread of misinformation on Eritrea’s alleged violations of Security Council resolution 733 (1992)” In the same letter, the Government of Eritrea also stated the Monitoring Group’s information “…is totally wrong and lacks credibility.”
However, subsequently, the Monitoring Group received the following information: (1) ICAO and the Air Traffic Control Authority from a neighbouring country confirmed the flights, (2) on 19 September 2006, the Government of Kazakhstan (Annex VII) provided ownership information for the IL-76 in question that indicated the aircraft belonged to Aerolift, and (3) on 29 September 2006, Aerolift (Annex VIII) provided information that indicated that the same IL-76 had been sold to ERIKO ENTERPRISE, an Eritrean company, before the flights to Mogadishu took place. Accordingly, the Chairman of the Monitoring Group made several attempts to establish contact with ERIKO, during the first two (2) weeks of October 2006. Eriko could not be reached for comment.
Seeking additional information and clarification, the Chairman of the Monitoring Group placed a follow up telephone call on 3 October 2006 to the same Aerolift representative who had provided the above indicated assistance and asked for additional information. The representative told the Chairman that he would provide documentation that would show that the aircraft in question was operated by ERIKO. However, as of the submission of this report, the Monitoring Group had not received the promised documentation
The case of the B-707 of Euro Oceanic Air Transport Ltd
The Monitoring Group received information that on 8 and 10 October 2006, a B-707 aircraft -the same aircraft used on both days - flew from Massawa, Eritrea to Mogadishu International Airport. The B-707 aircraft bore a Ugandan registration number 5X-EOT and used the call sign MHU of Sky Jet Aviation (U) Ltd, formerly Air Memphis. Cargo transported on the 8 October flight consisted of generators, medicines, 2500 single person tents and 30 larger tents, 400 pieces of telecommunication equipment for vehicles, 1500 communications handsets and 10 sealed containers. The intended recipients of the cargo were the ICU military forces based in Raskiambooni, Guriel, Mogadishu and Kismaayo. Cargo transported on the 10 October flight included an unknown quantity of arms and representatives of an ICU military force who were being returned to Somalia from a state that has been providing support to the ICU following completion of military training.
Sky Jet Aviation (U) Ltd is based in Kampala, Uganda. The Chairman of the Monitoring Group placed a telephone call to the Chairman of Sky Jet Aviation (U) Ltd, who furnished the following information: the B-707 (referenced in the foregoing paragraph) was smuggled out of Egypt on 5 July 2006 and was at the time of its flights from Massawa, Ertirea to Mogadishu, Somalia on 8 and 10 October operated by Euro Oceanic Air Transport, a company based in Bahrain. This company used the registration number, Air Operator Certificate and call sign without authorization from Sky Jet Aviation (U) Ltd. The Chairman of Sky Jet Aviation (U) Ltd further informed the MG that they sent letters to the authorities of Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Yemen and the UAE after they learned that the aircraft was transporting arms shipments from Eritrea to Somalia (Annex IX).
To see the full report which icludes Ethiopian support to the TFG, please click the link below.
Source: Council on Foreign Relations