To investigate this matter further, marqaati carried out a 3-week observation of Mogadishu’s most open arms market.
This arms market is located along the street behind Safari Hotel, near KM5 in Mogadishu. There are other places in Mogadishu where one can buy a weapon from; marqaati chose to observe this market because it was the most accessible one.
Below is a map of where the arms market is located:
View Mogadishu Arms Market in a larger map
Below are some images marqaati volunteers took from the arms market:
marqaati volunteers watched the open gun market from 5 to 27 February 2014, alternating between volunteers and times of visits. Below is what we found:
- Men in uniform sell arms to arms dealers; arms dealers in turn sell to each other and to civilians. The exchange of arms mostly takes place on the street, but sometimes in shops selling other goods.
- Guns and ammo change hands without little attempt to hide the trade, which indicates breakdown of law and order in the heart of the capital and confidence on the part of traders that the government will not prosecute them.
- Arms dealers and soldiers selling arms sometimes continue their trade inside shops on the arms market street, which may be where the actual payments take place.
- Arms dealers have been seen keeping their weapons with security guards guarding businesses in the area.
- The most common weapon openly sold is the AK-47 and its ammunition, and the TT pistol and its ammunition.
To fight this problem, marqaati recommends the following:
- The Somali government should investigate the existing black arms market in KM5.
- Somali government should keep track of its arms stockpile, and do regular inspection to make sure that none of the arms are being diverted.
- The promise to confiscate weapons in the hands of civilians or people in civilian clothing should made into a law and be enforced.