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Uganda Accused of Violating Somalia Arms Embargo

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United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has warned that Somalia could become a regional battle-ground because 10 states, including Uganda, are arming rival factions in the country's civil war.
Annan's remarks followed the release of a detailed 80-page report prepared for the UN by four security experts. They accused ten countries of supporting either the interim government or the radical Islamic militia, which now controls the capital Mogadishu and much of southern Somalia.
According to the report, behind the scenes, large cargo aircraft and ocean-going dhows have been clandestinely delivering arms and other forms of military support from states, arms-trading networks and others, almost on a daily basis. The allegations, which have been widely denied, claim that Uganda, Ethiopia and Yemen have been arming the provisional government in the provincial city of Baidoa.
Eritrea, Djibouti, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia are accused of sending weapons to the Council of Islamic Courts, a militant Islamic group which is imposing Muslim law over areas under its control.
Speaking in Nairobi yesterday, Annan warned that an already difficult and volatile situation could be further complicated by neighbouring countries rushing in with troops or guns to support one side or the other.
The UN report, which will be discussed by the Security Council today, claimed that Eritrea had sent 28 shipments of arms and equipment to militant forces as well as 2,000 troops. Two of the military flights were allegedly made last month from the Eritrean city of Massawa to Mogadishu.
Ethiopia, which acknowledges sending hundreds of military advisers to help the Somali Government, is accused of sending at least 3,300 soldiers into the country as well as arms and military vehicles. Uganda is said to have sent spare parts for anti-aircraft guns and about 100 military advisers.