GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: The prices of military grade weapons in Somalia has significantly increased in recent months with Rocket Propelled Grenades shooting up by 100% as the country lingers in an uncertain election period.
An investigation by Goobjoog News in Mogadishu reveals that military grade weapons are selling at levels not seen in recent times with prices jumping from between 30 to 100 per cent.
The RPG, a shoulder fired missile weapon which is popular among most armed groups in the country now retails at $3000 up from $1500 in the last three months.
The Russian Kalashnikov (AK47), notoriously famed for mass deaths in armed theatres from the 1950s to date cost $1400 in January but one has to part with $1800 to get one today.
On the other hand, the general purpose machine gun PKM commonly mounted on technicals now retails at $15,000 up from $11,000 in January.
The DShK, a heavy infantry machine gun will now cost you $22,000 in Mogadishu up from $18,000.
Arms traders in Mogadishu who spoke anonymously to Goobjoog News also indicated demand for all these weapons has shot up in recent weeks.
They did not however disclose which groups were buying the weapons. The rise in weapons sales underlines the fragile security situation and stability of the country as the opposition and federal government fail to reach a deal on the much delayed elections.
Hiiraal Institute Director Hussein Sheikh Ali who served as National Security Advisor to both Presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Mohamed Farmaajo said the rapid price and sales rise is no coincidence.
“It’s not a coincidence that arms sales and prices have increased 60% & 30% respectively during the last 3 months of the electoral impasse. Some of the weapons like RPG 100% increase in price. Let’s pretend things are alright,” Ali said in a tweet.
BOTH SIDES ARMING
Amid the mistrust between Farmaajo and the opposition including Jubbaland and Puntland, there has been security upgrades on both sides.
The opposition has demanded to provide its own security during protests. It has also accused Farmaajo of diverting military resources and personnel to the capital Mogadishu and Gedo region to advance his political ends.
The arrival of Jubbaland and Puntland presidential elite forces in heavy artillery in Mogadishu last month attested to the frail security situation and mistrust between the two sides.
Some of the weapons circulating in Mogadishu markets were either in the hands of African Union troops or Somali National Army.
A breach at a UAE run military base in Mogadishu in 2018 resulted in looting of weapons which ended up in the hands of traders.
Thought the three decades long arms embargo on Somalia has prevented inflow of heavy weapons into the country, some weapons under the embargo restrictions still find way into the country through criminal networks.