Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/22/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Making arms and ammo scarce leaves nation ill-prepared to defend itself

Left unprepared and under-supplied, the Somali National Army's 4th Brigade bears mute testimony to the unintended consequences of an ill-conceived attempt to control the flow of arms and ammunition to this part of Africa.

It's estimated that the average Somali soldier has 300 bullets to his name -- an amount that would be gone in three seconds in a rapid-fire situation.

It's estimated that the average Somali soldier has 300 bullets to his name -- an amount that would be gone in three seconds in a rapid-fire situation.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/22/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Somalia, arms embargo, rifles, civil war, al-Shabab


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After the Somali government collapsed and rival warlords began to tear the country apart in 1992, the United Nations imposed what was intended to be an arms embargo on the country. The embargo was intended to halt military supplies to the area and bring the fighting to a halt.

Instead, it has become abundantly clear after more than 20 years of constant civil war that the embargo catastrophically failed. When the rump of the government was struggling to hold the line against al-Shabab over the last few years, the authorities repeatedly argued that the embargo only limited them from getting the tools they needed to defeat the rebels.

The embargo was one of good intentions. What earlier passed as the national defense force in Somalia usually looked and behaved more like just another militia than a legitimate, disciplined army.

A painful reminder remains that the arms embargo patently failed to shut down the illicit trade in arms and ammunition, in particular those for rebel forces trying to seize control of the state. Weapons were freely available in Mogadishu's markets, and the war raged on for two more decades.

Negotiators are now sitting in New York trying to reach agreement on a comprehensive Arms Trade Treaty. The treaty places trade in weapons themselves under encouragingly tight controls.

However, the treaty shunts ammunition and spare parts to an annex with far loser restrictions. If those restrictions continue to allow a black market to flourish, the treaty fails, especially in places like Somalia.

An alarming statistic that the government has estimated is that there are four or five assault rifles to every household. If there production of AK-47s stopped today, there would still be more than enough of them to keep the conflict going for years!

But to quote aid agency Oxfam -- an assault rifle without ammunition is just a heavy metal stick.

The lesson of Somalia for the ATT negotiators is that any agreement that fails to control every aspect of the arms trade including ammunition is a wasted opportunity.

The soldiers of the Somali army's 4th Division would prefer their opponents to have a tougher time getting rounds in their magazines than they do.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Africa

Terrorism?: EgyptAir flight 804 lost at sea Watch

Image of An EgyptAir flight was likely downed due to an act of terrorism (Popoff/Lemerg).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Sixty-six people remain missing after EgyptAir flight 804 disappeared from radar above the Mediterranean Sea Wednesday night. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The airline reported the flight was on its way from Paris to Cairo when ground control lost contact with ... continue reading


First missing Chibok girl returned to family after 2 years with Boko Haram Watch

Image of After two years as a Boko Haram prisoner, one young girl (not pictured) was rescued and reunited with her family (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Over 200 Chibok schoolgirls were kidnapped by Nigeria's terrorist organization Boko Haram over two years ago. At least 57 have escaped Boko Haram and one of those brave, victimized girls was recently rescued by the Nigerian army. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At ... continue reading


#BringBackOurGirls: 219 of the Boko Haram kidnapped schoolgirls remain missing two years later Watch

Image of Boko Haram continues to persecute Christians and abduct girls as young as 8-years-old.

By Loredana Vuoto (CNA/EWTN News)

Two years ago, radical Islamists with the militant group Boko Haram stormed a school in Chibok, Nigeria, kidnapping 276 teen girls. The event initially sparked global outrage, with high-profile personalities taking pictures on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag, ... continue reading


Extremely young girls dreadfully raised and trained to become suicide bombers Watch

Image of Children as young as 8-years-old have been detonating bombs in schools and markets (Inquisitr).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Boko Haram has reportedly initiated a child training camp to prepare kids as young as eight-years-old to kill as many innocents as possible - including themselves. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Humanitarian group UNICEF recently reported an increase in children ... continue reading


WATCH NOW: Boko Haram releases heartbreaking 'Proof of life' video featuring kidnapped Chibok girls Watch

Image of One of the Chibok girls spoke to the camera. It is the first time her family has seen her in two years.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

When Boko Haram abducted over 200 school girls at gunpoint from a government school in Chibok, Nigeria, they made headlines across the globe. Since their abduction, there has been next to no word of their fate - until now. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Boko Haram ... continue reading


Young girls BEGGING to be suicide bombers to escape rape and starvation Watch

Image of Young girls are accepting suicide missions to escape sexual slavery and starvation (Irene Becker).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Women and girls are kidnapped by Boko Haram militants every day - then are forced to marry the terrorists. They are then raped by numerous men each day. After a time of slowly dying from starvation, the weary girls plead to be suicide bombers to escape the agonizingly ... continue reading


'We can't trust any of them': Surviving Boko Haram sex slaves tell their terrifying stories (WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT) Watch

Image of Surviving women who were forced to become Boko Haram

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Two women, 15-year-old Halima and 25-year-old Hamsatu, speak of their captivity and forced marriages to Boko Haram men. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The women and girls used as sex slaves were as young as only 8-years-old and were forced to live in small ... continue reading


Biblical plague returns: Satellite images reveal blood-red Nile Watch

Image of Satellite images of the Nile bring to mind the Biblical plague (Pinterest).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new image from European Space Agency's (ESA) Sentinel-3A satellite reveals a blood-red River Nile, reminiscent of the Biblical plague of Moses' time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Exodus 7:20, "Moses and Aaron did as the Lord ordered. He raised his ... continue reading


Nigeria uses Bible to block bill criminalizing violence against women Watch

Image of The Nigerian Senate voted against women's rights (Premium Times).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

On March 15, the Nigerian Senate voted against a bill that would have made violence against women and girls a criminal act - for the third time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  The Gender Parity and Prohibition of Violence Against Women bill was thrown out ... continue reading


Archaeologists discover secret chambers in King Tut's tomb, but what's inside them? Watch

Image of There may be a secret chamber in King Tut's tomb.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In 1922, Howard Carter discovered the tomb of the young Egyptian King Tutankhamen. The discovery turned out to be the find of the century as it was the most intact tomb of a pharaoh ever discovered. Now, new research suggests the site could hold a whole new host of ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 1:10-16
10 This salvation was the subject of the search and investigation of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:28-31
28 Peter took this up. 'Look,' he said to him, 'we have left everything ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 24th, 2016 Image

St. David I of Scotland
May 24: David, the youngest son of Scotland's virtuous ... Read More